According to a popular myth, an average person gains 5 to 10 pounds during the holiday season. But this may be more of a myth than truth.
Despite several people believing that there is tremendous weight gain during the holidays, an average adult gains just a pound, approximately, during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year, says a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
AdvertisementDuring the study, scientists observed 195 adults for weight fluctuations during three six- to-eight week intervals in a year, that is, the pre-holiday fall, the holiday season from mid-November to early January, and the post-holiday winter months.
During the pre-holiday or post-holiday months, the weight of the subjects did not change much but during the holiday season they gained a pound on an average. 'As compared with their weight in late September or early October, the study subjects had an average net weight gain of 0.48 (take or give 2.22) kg in late February or March. Between February or March and the next September or early October, there was no significant additional change in weight' found the authors. This suggests that when they were weighed again during the following fall, most of them had not lost the weight gained, indicating a possibility of additional weight gain with time.
It is always good to exercise a little restrain during the holiday season when there is plenty of food. The turkey, ham, cheese, wine, mashed potatoes, crisps and the desserts, just to name a few, are indeed very tempting and hard to resist for most people.
However there are a few ways to enjoy the benefits of the season without having to feel guilty about gaining weight.
It might be a good idea to indulge and eat what one wants during the main days, viz. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, and also on the main party days and to balance it out by eating lightly on the other days.
Again, before going out to party it might be better to snack lightly to avoid feeling ravenous and gorging on the high calorie food. Limiting alcohol intake is also advisable. Always be conscious of what you eat and not binge mindlessly.
Finally, there is no need to feel terribly worried and fret about indulging a bit and going over board with food. After all we are humans. A little bit of caution is all that is necessary.