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SMU Daily Campus


How to stay in shape during the holidays


The holidays are quickly approaching, and that means food, lots of it. It first begins with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. Eating excess calories can lead to unwanted weight gain. This article will address how to avoid gaining weight during the holidays and things one can do to help support staying in shape.

Intermittent Fasting

One of the best things one can do is to intermittent fast. Intermittent fasting is the dieting discipline of only eating during a specific period of time. For example, some people will fast for 24 hours resulting in only eating dinner. Some people will fast for 16 hours, opting for skipping breakfast. Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways to avoid holiday weight gain. This is because one will avoid the frequently snacking that is commonly associated with the holidays. Halloween candies being left out in bowls, Thanksgiving leftovers like pie and mash potatoes, and Christmas cookies. One will not be tempted to frequent eating if one can only eat during specific periods of time. The result is fewer insulin spikes from eating sugar. Insulin is one of the bodes worst enemies when it comes to weight gain. A rise in insulin levels in the body makes it difficult for the body to burn fat. Insulin also increases fat cells. By avoiding spikes in insulin, this will help the body tap into its fat reserves to burn fat for energy. Most people experience body fat loss if they begin to intermittent fast. People will also experience less digestive issues, as well.

Increase Protein Intake

Increasing one’s protein and vegetable intake is an easy way to avoid holiday weight gain. Protein foods such as chicken, beef, eggs, and fish are great choices to sugary snacks. These protein foods typically have a low glycemic rating. The glycemic rating is a measurement of how much a certain food affects the body’s insulin level. If one cannot prepare themselves protein meals, there are alternatives such as protein powders and protein bars. The most popular protein powder is whey protein. But this is not the best choice when it comes to avoiding weight gain. Whey protein does have a moderate impact on insulin levels. Therefore a better protein powder choice will be micellar casein protein powder. Casein protein powder is slow digesting; therefore, it has less of an impact on insulin levels. Combine the casein protein powder with a low glycemic beverage such as vegetable juice. Freshly prepared juice that combines greens such as kale, spinach, and celery makes for a great protein drink. Then add other vegetables such as carrots and ginger make for a low glycemic index protein drink. Try to avoid making protein shakes. Protein shakes are like milkshakes. These will typically come in vanilla and chocolate flavors. To make these sweet, artificial sweeteners will commonly be added to them like sucralose, acesulfame potassium, and aspartame. Even though they do not add calories, I believe they have an impact on insulin levels. Not only that, but in my opinion, they have other unhealthy side effects.


Make sure you start or continue your exercise regime during the holiday season. As the seasons get cold in some parts of the country, it makes it more challenging to get outside and exercise. So one should try their best to continue to stay active.

In conclusion, avoiding holiday weight gain can be possible as long as one stays disciplined. The easiest way is to avoid fad diets and intermittent fast. It is straightforward to follow, only eat during specific periods of the day. This way, you can still enjoy the great holiday treats like chocolate and cookies. With most fad diets, they are very restrictive to what one can eat. Finally, exercise will keep you healthy as well, and support a lean body.

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