Many people hope to maintain their current weight during the holidays so that January doesn’t push them into crazy dieting. Here are some insights I’ve found helpful for preventing weight gain over the Christmas season.
Did you know that in the US, half of all annual weight gain happens during the Christmas holidays? Not surprising really, since holidays are often associated with socializing over food (and in front of the TV). Let’s face it, you don’t get much opportunity to work off the extra calories with all those tempting chocolates, cookies and cakes lying around.
But, research shows that weight gain isn’t all about food and exercise. Our thoughts and emotions can play a huge role in how we approach food, and when and how much we eat. We all probably know that during the holidays, many emotions come to the surface, both good and bad. And they can be the real trigger for not being able to control your eating. We often overeat as a response to feelings, unresolved issues, and emotional struggles, or simply because we feel alone (and many people do feel alone during the festive period). Also, certain foods can stir up memories, especially foods connected with holidays that bring families together. Sometimes, it can also be difficult to say ‘no’ to food or to people serving it, which makes holidays a big test of our assertiveness. So, if you want to maintain your weight, the first step should be to identify your emotional cues for overeating.
Another important factor to consider—which often gets affected during the holidays—is sleep. Your body requires recuperative sleep. This might be easier said than done with all the partying going on. But, if you are sleep deprived, you’ll crave more food the next day and your sugar intake will increase. It has been recognized that sleep deprivation causes obesity, mainly because it disturbs our hormonal balance and metabolism and alters the way we store and process carbohydrates. In fact, lack of sleep combined with an emotional trigger can be the culprit behind gaining weight (or not being able to lose it).
This brings me to stress, another modern phenomenon we are all familiar with. Stress can often prevent us from getting a good night sleep. Thus, making it harder to maintain emotional balance and well-being, as well as remain disciplined with our eating. Holidays are supposed to be a relaxing experience, but we all probably agree that they can also bring a lot of stress.
To sum it up, if you want to prevent weight gain during the holiday period, focus on these three:
The good news is that you don’t have to do it all alone. Hypnotherapy can help you develop a personalized long-term remedy by reducing your stress and anxiety levels and bringing you to the root of the problem. Are you ready to tackle the issues that have been preventing you from being your best self?
At Medvesta Hypnosis Healthcare we can help you address your emotional barriers, sleep disturbances and stress-related issues. Stop searching for a band-aid and ask for the real solution. Bid farewell to holiday overeating and post-holiday dieting.
Have a Happy Holiday with great celebrations remember, holidays can be fun, as long as you focus on the right things!
 Niemeier, H. M., Phelan, S., Fava, J. L., & Wing, R. R. (2007). Internal disinhibition predicts weight regain following weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Obesity, 15(10), 2485-2494.
 Cizza, G., Requena, M., de Jonge, L., & Galli, G. (2011). Chronic sleep deprivation and seasonality: Implications for the obesity epidemic. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, 34(10), 793-800.
 Krause, A. J., Simon, E. B., Mander, B. A., Greer, S. M., Saletin, J. M., Goldstein-Piekarski, A. N., & Walker, M. P. (2017). The sleep-deprived human brain. Nature Reviews. Neuroscience, 18(7), 404-418.