holiday-weight-gainThe kickoff to the holiday season is less than one week away. Will you experience the joy of the season or get swept away by endless lists, stress, and countless calories?

Though studies have shown we gain less weight during the holidays than previously believed, be aware that holiday calories still count.

  • Average holiday weight gain is 1 lb (Hull 2006)
  • Obese individuals often gain more – 5lbs (Roberts & Mayer 2000)
  • People retain the weight gained during the holidays (Yanovski 2000)

Bottom line? We gain a little weight during the holidays, and we never lose it. Over time, those pounds really add-up.

Break the cycle this year!

  • Increase exercise frequency and/or duration
  • Reframe how you look at holiday foods

In 2011, researchers at Johns Hopkins put labels on soda explaining how much jogging it takes to burn off the calories. After reading the label, teenagers tended to buy water instead. Think about this approach at the buffet table. Sure you could eat a whole slice of pecan pie, but walking.com says you’ll need to walk 4.8 miles to burn those 480 calories.

There are many free apps and websites available including Lose It and My Fitness Pal to keep track of caloric intake and exercise. My Fitness Pal projects your future weight based on current behavior… a good motivator to stay on track.

Plan ahead for the holidays and reap the health benefits in the New Year!

Similar Posts