Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

It’s that time of year. Parties, celebrations, big family get togethers and meals. Unhealthy food is everywhere. How do you manage without gaining the dreaded holiday pounds?

Studies have shown that most people gain only one or two pounds; however, the majority of Americans rarely lose the weight after the holidays. If you add one to two pounds each holiday, 20 years later… well, you do the math!

What does it take to gain just two pounds over the six week holiday season?

  •  To gain 1-2 pounds, you need to eat an extra 3500-7000 calories in six weeks, or 580-1150 calories per week, or just 80-165 calories per day!

Think that sounds difficult? Given all the temptations around us at parties, work and family functions, it’s not too tough at all!

How do I eat an extra 80-165 calories per day?

  • 5-10 crackers
  • 1-2 small pieces of fudge
  • 1 homemade cookie
  • 6-8 oz. sparkling juice
  • 4-6 oz. homemade hot cocoa

What if I indulge just once a week? Add any of the items below just once a week and you’ve got an extra 500 calories per week – enough to add a pound of fat by January 1!

  • 1 slice pecan pie
  • 1 slice pumpkin pie with whipped cream
  • 10 oz. eggnog
  • 1 cup sweet potato casserole
  • 1 ½ cup stuffing

Realistically, you aren’t going to hibernate in a cave this holiday season, so what are some ways to manage this?

  • Be Realistic. If you are currently trying to lose weight, set your goal for weight maintenance until January 1st, then get back on the wagon.
  • Keep a Food Journal. Accountability and awareness can be helpful anytime, but especially around the holidays when little bites of treats add up. Write down everything – gum, tastings when cooking and baking, and drinks. Then note where you can make some changes.
  • Use Caution with Flavored Coffee Drinks. I won’t mention any names, but some popular chains sell delicious coffee drinks this time of year that have as many calories as a slice of pecan pie. Read the nutrition facts to make the best choices, or if you believe ignorance is bliss, just treat yourself to one this season and enjoy every last sip.
  • Move More. One mile is going to burn 100 calories on average. If you walk slowly, you will burn less. Jog or run and you will burn more. If you really want to have a slice of pie each week, add in 5 miles of walking or jogging to compensate (one mile each day). Want to add more exercise and limit the treats? You may just beat the odds and LOSE weight this holiday season!

How do you survive the holidays? Share your suggestions!

© 2024, GEORGIA CANCER SPECIALISTS Administrative Annex . All Rights Reserved.