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Holiday Roll Back: The Easiest Way to Lose Your Winter Weight Gain

Holiday Roll Back: The Easiest Way to Lose Your Winter Weight Gain

Shedding pounds can be difficult, but this 31-day plan can help.

Whew! You made it through the holidays—surviving Uncle Joe’s bombastic storytelling and that parade of pecan pies and rum-laced eggnog. The down side? You probably gained a bit of weight. An eight-week study from Texas Tech tracked 150 adults and found the average holiday weight increase is about two pounds for men and one pound for women (although some participants gained up to 13 pounds!). And even a little holiday weight gain over 10 to 20 seasons may leave you busting your seams—not to mention damaging your heart health and risking out of control blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately, shedding accumulating pounds can be frustrating. That’s why there’s low-carb, high-carb, intermittent fasting and other trendy eating styles. They all claim to work, but leave you going from one to the other, year after year, in pursuit of results that endure.

The importance of timing your meals
As Dr. Mike and Dr. Crupain explained on the January second edition of the Dr. Oz Show, when you eat is more important than what you eat (that doesn’t mean what you eat doesn’t matter). Research shows your weight and your overall health benefit enormously when you time your intake of specific types of food to sync up with your natural metabolic rhythms.

It’s that groundbreaking insight that fuels their book, What to Eat When.

31 days to a healthier you
We don’t expect you to totally renovate your eating habits in 31 days—but you can launch yourself on a trajectory that will make you younger and healthier as you shed excess pounds.

Key principals:

  1. Eat when the sun is shining. The sun is what sets your internal clock and research shows your metabolism peaks around 9am. So, honor your body by feeding it sometime around then.
  2. Don’t stereotype what foods should be eaten when. Have dinner for breakfast! You want to front load your calorie intake, so breakfast or lunch is your biggest meal of the day and dinner the smallest.

The 31-day plan, step by step
Through each step, you’ll try to maintain the previous ones as you add to them. But if you slip up, you can go back and pick ‘em up again. This is a change for a lifetime not a crash diet. (For the complete plan, check out the book.)

Days 1 to 3: Get to know your food habits by keeping a journal of everything you eat and when you eat it.

Days 4 to 8: Start to eat most of your food before 2pm. Don’t worry about what you’re eating.

Days 9 to 14: Try eating all your meals between sunrise and sunset.

Day 15: Reflect on the difference between day one and today. Give yourself credit for all you’ve accomplished.

Day 16 to 19: Now you can think about what you’re eating. How often do you eat processed foods? Added sugars? Fried foods? Evaluate how many veggies and fruits you get in a day. Any whole grains? Fish? 

Day 21 to 23:  We hope you’re on your way to eradicating processed foods from your diet. But no worries if you’re still in the process of adopting the #WhenWay approach to eating.

Day 24 to 26: Try to get more whole grains into your diet: 100 percent whole wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye, millet and teff.

Day 27 to 28: Look back to move forward. See what steps need revisiting.  

Day 29 to 30: Focus on your smallest meal of the day—dinner. Make sure it’s tasty and satisfying—and remember you can always have a salad along with soup or a grain bowl.

Day 31: Congratulations. You’ve made significant changes in your eating habits. Now’s the time to aim for increased consistency, getting every day to reflect the wisdom of when and the benefits of what you eat.

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