The weight gain begins with Halloween. Then comes Thanksgiving, the biggest day of food consumption in America, where an average American will eat 4,500 calories! During Christmas and New Year’s, we are in a vacation mindset, allowing unhealthy foods to be allowed and exercise to be procrastinated. And we then top it off with the biggest sporting day of the year, Super Bowl Sunday, the second biggest day of food consumption in America.
How Much Weight?
Nearly all of us gain weight as we get older, about half a pound to a pound and a half per year. Women gain most weight during adolescence, pregnancy and midlife while men gain more weight after marriage.
We are most vulnerable to weight gain during the winter and fall. Half of the annual weight gain occurs during the holiday season. Twenty percent of those who are obese and 10 percent of those who are overweight gained more than 5 pounds.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is also a suspect in seasonal weight gain. When we are feeling
depressed, we crave complex carbohydrates, like bread and pasta.
What Can We Do?
1. Be aware of your weight. Those who stepped on a scale four or more times a week gained less weight and lost it more quickly.
2. Eat and chew slowly. Enjoy and relish in the tastes of the holiday. Eating slowly allows you to swallow and feel full, and gives you the 20 minutes it takes to register to your brain that you are full.
3. When drinking, choose a tall and thin glass. It will reduce your intake of alcohol or other high sugar drinks. Similarly, when eating choose a small plate instead of a larger plate.
Knowledge & Mindfulness Is Power
Weight gain during the holiday season is not inevitable! By simply being mindful over the upcoming months it can help reduce weight gain. Make healthy choices and enjoy the season!