This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please contact a medical professional.
Holidays often mean celebrating with loved ones. However, since many of these celebrations center around food and festive treats, many people worry about gaining weight during the holidays.
Canadians typically spend more money on food, booze and gifts than they do on rent when on vacation, so we know how hard it is to avoid sampling delicious snacks.
However, if you’re stressed about gaining weight on your favorite treats, there’s good news.
To actually gain 1 pound of weight a day, you need to eat 3,500 more calories than your body needs. Activity level, age and height also affect weight gain.
Additionally, there are many ways to minimize weight gain during this period. Eating the foods you love won’t make you gain weight instantly.
How much do you have to eat to gain 1 pound?
Normally, you need to eat an extra 3,500 calories to gain weight.
So if you normally eat 2,000 calories each day, you would need to eat 5,500 calories a day to gain weight. Over a week, this means he eats 500 extra calories per day.
This has been the widely accepted answer since Max Wishnofsky published his findings in 1958. However, the 3,500-calorie rule has nuances and challenges, and is now rejected by nutritionists.
may vary from person to person
The biggest problem with getting a clear answer is that it varies from person to person.
For some people, 3,500 calories may be the amount needed to gain 1 pound. For others, the number may be higher or lower. It all depends on your activity level, metabolism, height, weight and gender.
Based on your typical energy levels and your current BMR (basal metabolic rate), you can determine how many calories you should burn per day, or the minimum amount of calories you should burn to maintain your weight.
What does 3,500 calories look like?
Here are some examples of what 3,500 calories can look like.
Two complete Christmas dinners with 1,730 calories of all trimmings and a few glasses of wine or beer.
Just over 10 scoops of eggnog in an 8-ounce serving of 343 calories each.
About 29 maple cream cookies, 120 calories each.
How to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays
With 30 minutes of cardio burning up to 295 calories, you’ll be able to burn excess calories by staying active while on vacation.
Monitoring portion sizes is another way to enjoy your favorite treats without overdoing it.
Eat slowly. Chewing your food well makes you feel full.
Try to eat nutritious foods to keep your body in good shape.
Tips for figuring out how much to eat in a day
Whether you’re trying to gain, maintain, or lose weight, keeping a food diary is the best way to track how much you eat on any given day. Everyone has their preferences, but a few parameters and tips make this easy.
1. List some
Every time you eat or drink something, write down how long it was.
Depending on the item, this may be weight, volume, or number.
2. Be specific
Instead of writing down “juice”, specify what kind of juice it was. List all the toppings, condiments, and sides that went with it, rather than just writing “burger.”
Being specific helps you know exactly what you’re eating and helps you track it better.
3. When and where
To track how often you eat, include times when you eat or snack. Also, please include where you ate. was it the kitchen? dining room? A friend’s house or a restaurant? Include that information in your food diary wherever you are.
4. Include Activities
Exercise can affect how many calories you need per day, so keep track of what you do while you eat and drink. You might have gone for a walk and had something to eat, or had a cup of coffee and talked to a friend.
Include this information when recording meals and snacks in your food diary, no matter how strenuous or relaxing your activity is (even just watching TV).
5. Acknowledge your mood
Food affects your mood, so write down how you’re feeling in your journal. Write down how you feel before eating or drinking and when you are eating or drinking.
If you’re struggling with overeating or overeating, this is a good way to recognize patterns.
Don’t let stress build up with a little fun
Gaining weight is more complicated than how many calories you’re eating. Your age, height and activity level are other factors.
Luckily, enjoying your favorite holiday snacks and meals won’t make you gain weight directly, especially when combined with fun festive activities and regular fitness routines.
Ultimately, it’s all about maintaining a healthy balance.
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