Gaining Weight During the Holidays

Believe it or not, but the holidays are fast-approaching and you know what that means? Lots and lots of eating. Believe me I know, I’m Italian and we eat at the drop of a hat—birthdays we eat, Christmas we eat, somebody’s born we eat, somebody dies we eat—bottom line, we eat!

How about you? Do you up the eating around the holidays? If you do, you’re not alone. Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times reveals that most people gain one pound due to holiday feasting. Not too bad considering the popular belief is five to ten pounds. Here’s more on this:
According to most studies on the subject, the average person gains one to two pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. One of the most recent and thorough studies to examine the idea, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2000, followed a diverse group of about 200 adults, half men.

Although this isn’t the same for everybody, O’Conner points out that some studies indicated ten percent of people gained more than five pounds during the holidays—that ten percent is probably coming from my family.
So, what do you do if you’re an Eat to Liver and you’re worried about weight-gain, but you don’t want to miss out on holiday festivities? Remember this excerpt from Eat to Live? It should help you manage your cheating ways:
We are all tempted by treats. It is easier to resist if you get them out of the house completely. All cheats should be done outside of your home. If possible, associate with friends who will support you in recovering your health—or may join you in trying to be healthy.

Once you regain your health and feel great, you are less likely to crave these foods or be so tempted. Then, when you do deviate from a healthful diet, it is likely you will feel poorly, have persistent dry mouth, and not sleep well. If you go off your diet and eat junk food on occasion, mark it on your calendar and consider it a special occasion that you won’t repeat too often.

Nobody is perfect; however, do not let your weight yo-yo. You must adhere to the plan strictly enough so that you never put back on whatever weight you do take off.
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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Howie Jacobson, PhD - October 31, 2006 5:49 PM

The concept of "pre-commitment" - from behavioral economics - can help us stick to our goals even when we're in the presence of temptation.

When you wake up in the morning, take one minute - literally 60 seconds - to scan your day and set your intention for what you want to eat. Big salad at lunch - how can you make that happen? Where are you likely to eat lunch? Do you need to bring one with you? Stop at a supermarket salad bar on the way to work? Etc.

Anticipate situations where you're likely to be tempted, and plan for them. Decide up front, while your "smart self" is still in control, and then your "indulgent self" will have to contend with those precommitments, instead of just having its own way and leaving you sick and ashamed later.

Michael - November 1, 2006 9:48 AM

I would like to add: focus on the conversation and other aspects of getting together with family. It should be an enjoyable occasion even without the food.

Schizohedron - November 3, 2006 10:30 AM

I try to eat a nutritionally sound breakfast and take a long walk (my gym closes that day) before meeting the family. These two steps help me head into the caloric blizzard that is Thanksgiving Day with some sort of healthy start. I do note that the gym is always hilariously full on Black Friday, as folks desperately try to work off the abuses of the past 24 hours!

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