Moderation, the smart choice in combating holiday weight gain!

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 09:43

It is that time of year where goodies such as sweets and holiday snacks are abundant around the office and at home. It is also a busy time for all, as we are traveling to visit people or are entertaining family and friends. With all the holidays’ festivities, we might start neglecting our exercise routines and healthy eating habits in the hopes of working off the excess after the holidays.

A recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that the majority of annual weight gain happens during the holidays. The study concluded that on average, people gain about 1.5 pounds during the holidays. To put this in perspective, most Americans gain about 2 pounds annually, which means that 75% of the weight is gained during the holidays. The study continues by stating that during the holidays, we consume more calories than we are burning. Exercise can only help to a point; eventually it must be balanced with a healthy diet.

A few tips you might want to follow during the holidays to avoid holiday weight gain:

  • Exercise! For those who have a routine, try to maintain it. For those who do not, it might be wise to start a routine to avoid too much weight gain.
  • Stick to your normal eating patterns and maybe splurge one or two days during the holidays. 
  • Have a healthy appetizer such as soup or a salad. 
  • Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. Eating fast leads to overeating. 
  • Eat in moderation and make smart choices.

Maintaining a good healthy weight is very important for our overall health. This can be accomplished through exercise, proper diet and moderation. The holidays are a time to enjoy good food, good friends and good company. Moderation and keeping to your exercise routine at this time of year might be the best option to help maintain a healthy and active life.

References from the SIRC Collection:

1. 9 Smart Seasonal Substitutions. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. November 2009;27(9):4-5. 
2. Archer S. Mindful Holiday Stress Coping Reminders for Clients. IDEA Fitness Journal. November 2008;5(10):80. 
3. Grieve F, Wann D, Henson C, Ford P. Healthy and Unhealthy Weight Management Practices in Collegiate Men and Women. Journal Of Sport Behavior. September 2006;29(3):229-241. 
4. Jakicic J, Rogers R. The Importance of Physical Activity for Losing Weight, Maintaining Weight, and Preventing Weight Gain. President's Council On Physical Fitness & Sports Research Digest. June 2013;14(2):1-9. 
5. Secrets to Healthy Holiday Eating. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. November 2013;31(9):1-4. 
6. Wein D. the weighting game. Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness Hers. February 2002;3(1):86