Holiday Weight Gain is Real, Study Says, and it starts in October
I’m sure that we all secretly knew this, but Cornell University conducted a research study and confirmed that we do, in fact, gain weight over the holiday season.
The study included 3000 participants from the US, Germany and Japan. They were studying year round weight patterns of these individuals and found that the weight gain actually begins in October.
We tend to start the weight gain with the presence of Halloween candy, and it continues into Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
The interesting part of this study wasn’t the fact that we gained weight, but it was the fact that on average, it took five months to take all of the weight off again!
We tend to see all sides of the spectrum on this. We have severely obese people that are trying hard to make a change and struggle, people who just like food and don’t care about weight, those that are in the healthy weight and don’t track it, and those that become obsessed with the scale and fret over each pound. Knowing that it can take five months to lose holiday weight is troublesome for some. As we age, our metabolism changes and we begin holding onto weight a little bit more.
With this information, we need to be proactive instead of reactive, and have a game plan going into the holiday season. Are we going to begin/increase our exercise program to allow ourselves a cheat window to eat more? Is that really the solution? Should we limit our intake of these wonderfully yummy foods in order to watch our waistline?
The answer that both Dr. Bret and I continue to tell patients is that moderation is key. Exercise is obviously important, and has numerous health benefits, so we all should be exercising. Healthy eating is lacking across the country, and so we need to get back to eating whole foods again. And as always, drink half your weight in ounces every day to replenish your body!