The holidays are coming. Holiday weight gain is real. Typically it starts in October and ends somewhere in January.
Research found that it can take five months to get back to your normal weight. In the United States, researchers found that the participants’ weight began to rise throughout October and November, and peaked 10 days after Christmas. The change wasn’t large, but it was significant: On average, people’s weight increased about 1.3 pounds during the Christmas-New Year’s season.
About half of that weight came off quickly after the holiday season ended, but the other half wasn’t lost until about five months later, after Easter. Combine this with colder temperatures, which results in less outdoor activity.
Instead of a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, have an October resolution not to gain too much weight in the first place. Then you won’t have to worry about five months of struggling,” he says. (Research letter in the New England Journal of Medicine)
I am all about enjoying the holidays, parties, family gatherings, and holiday goodies. But it doesn't have to result in lasting pounds. If you limit your intake to a Thanksgiving or holiday "meal" as opposed to a "season", you will not have lasting pounds to battle with and fight to get off. Count your holiday parties, dinners and gatherings as "cheat meals" as opposed to "cheat months" and then you can minimize the effect.
I used to do annual Christmas baking and have stores of goodies in the house for weeks. Now, I still do Christmas baking, but gift them to family and friends. I keep just enough at home to enjoy for a very short period of time, but not all in one sitting. I freeze what I'm not going to eat and bring it out for a scheduled "cheat" (which, by the way, is not daily).
One other method I use is to plan for a holiday or party. Yes, I want to enjoy what is on the table. No, I don't want to eat a salad when everyone is eating mashed potatoes, gravy and rolls. I adjust my intake for that day, or leading up to that day, so that I can enjoy myself and eat the goodies. I do NOT starve myself for the day or the days leading up to it. I do some minor adjustments to my meal planning.
There is no reason to agonize over the holiday season. It is a time to be enjoyed with family and friends. A little indulgence is not the end of the world. However, it does not mean it has to be a season of indulgence.
Keep your goals in mind (but don't lose your mind).