Avoid Holiday Weight Gain Starting In October

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Between summer bods and holiday eating sprees, it sometimes feels like there’s year-round pressure to either lose pounds or maintain a certain weight. That doesn’t always happen— the average American gains about 5 pounds over the holiday period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. So, if we want to avoid weight gain in the winter and look great in the summer, when exactly should we begin a weight loss resolution during the year?
A new study recently used wireless scales from participants in the United States, Germany, and Japan to measure weight patterns related to holiday weight gain. The research shows that the weight you gain in the next 3 months this holiday season could potentially take over 5 months to lose, so if you want to be thin this spring, and going into summer, start your plan in October.
“Everyone gains weight over the holidays — Americans, Germans, Japanese,” co-author Brian Wansink told Cornell University’s Food & Brand Lab. “Instead of making a New Year’s Resolution, make an October resolution. It’s easier to avoid holiday pounds altogether than to lose them after they happen.”
Researchers found that in the US, weight patterns begin rising around Thanksgiving and peak around Christmas and the New Year. Germany and Japan also showed a peak in weight for New Year’s — the participants’ weight actually rose within 10 days after Christmas Day in all three countries.

Additionally, study participants in Germany weighed the most around Christmas and New Year’s. In Japan, people were most heavy in April during Golden Week, which is a major Japanese holiday.
Think you’ll put on some holiday weight in 2017? Chances are you won’t be able to lose it until Easter 2018. If that doesn’t motivate you to start reaching your weight loss goal now, nothing will.

MYTH: Most people gain a full size…
FACT: Bloating isn’t the same as fat weight
One of the reasons you may feel like you’ve packed on more weight than you have is because many holiday foods trigger bloating and water retention. For example, any time you eat more carbs than usual, you store the leftovers as glycogen, the “piggy bank” reserve of carbohydrate that gets socked away in your muscle tissue.
MYTH: Exercise staves off holiday pounds
In the Texas Tech study, half of the subjects were inactive and the other half worked out roughly five hours a week, yet both groups gained the same amount of weight. This isn’t the first study to show that avid exercise may not lead to weight control, but I’m not suggesting that you should ditch your workouts. There are numerous benefits to working out that have nothing to do with weight, including lowering stress and improving sleep, so keep on keeping on, just don’t count on it to cancel out your indulgences.
MYTH: I’ll lose it in January
Gaining just a pound or two of fat may seem miniscule, but to put just one pound in perspective, think about tacking 16 ounces of shortening or four sticks of butter onto your frame. Plus, other studies show that most of us never lose that holiday padding, possibly because after abandoning New Year’s resolutions, many people gain back all (or more) of the weight they lose. This “weight creep” is what leads to most Americans packing on about 10-20 pounds per decade.
FACT: It’s not too late to ward off some holiday poundage
If that last myth left you feeling discouraged, don’t give up! I’ve seen countless success stories that fly in the face of average statistics. To defy the odds starting today, commit to just two simple goals between now and January 1st – “budget” your carbs, and drink more water.

Stay tuned for our 21 Tips to help you avoid weight gain through the holiday season

Find us at www.thefreshplan.com or you can always call for information 224.480.3700

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