Avoiding the holiday weight gain

By Briana Hayes
Staff Writer

In the time from between Thanksgiving to New Year’s, there are a lot of memories made, laughs to be had, and tons of food.

In fact, the never-ending, seemingly bottomless mountain of food present at every family gathering, holiday meal, and dessert table can be overwhelming. However, the food is delicious and home-cooked—why shouldn’t you indulge?

Most people experience their largest weight gain of the year in  this time and while it is considered normal to gain weight during the winter months, it is also possible to minimize the effect of the holiday indulgences.

While it seems simple, a good way to do this is to continue to exercise. During the winter, exercise can be daunting because of the cold weather, but if you wear proper gear then it should be bearable.

For example, most of your body heat escapes from your head so wearing a hat or an ear warmer will help conserve your own body heat.

When you are working out outside during the winter layers are key. You can always take off each layer as you get warmed up.

Winter activities such as ice skating, skiing, snowboarding and sledding can also aid in the burning of calories. While you may not realize it, these activities are actually exercise.

Whether it is walking up a hill to sled down or using your core strength to balance on a snowboard, winter sports can help prevent holiday weight gain.

If you do not want to risk being unable to feel your hands while you exercise, there is always the option of going to the gym or participating in a workout class.

There are so many different kinds of indoor classes, and while they usually cost money, they are almost always fun and a great way to learn a new way of exercising.

At Simmons, Fit @ Simmons sponsors weekly workout classes that are free for every student. These classes range from kickboxing to spin classes and are a great way to initiate the habit of working out before going home for the winter break.

This Saturday Fit @ Simmons is hosting a fundraiser for Playworks, a company that focuses on providing a safe and inclusive recess period for children.

The fundraiser ranges from $3-10 depending on your length of participation. The first half hour is kickboxing, followed by spin class and ends with an hour of body pump.

Besides working out, in order to avoid the holiday weight gain, there are dietary changes you can make. Instead of drinking soda you can switch to seltzer or sparkling water. This reduces your sugar intake, which, if not burned off, will turn into stored fat.

In addition, staying away from the sugary and fattening hot drinks from Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and trying different flavors of tea can be beneficial.

Tea contains fat-burning flavnoids which can help increase your metabolism. This will aid in the extra calories that are almost inevitable during the holiday season.

While it may seem obvious to eat healthily during the holiday season, it is not as easy as one may think.

However, it is possible to make healthier choices. Desserts and the never-ending buffet of pies are always an option, but they can be changed into healthier options.

For example, a pie crust can be made from whole wheat flour, and the milk products can all be low-fat or non-fat. Also, a fruit salad with some low-fat whipped cream never hurts.

Try filling your plate primarily with  vegetables. Some delicious and healthy winter vegetables include squash and sweet potatoes, and a dash of cinnamon can make all the difference.

Staying healthy during the holidays season is possible!

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