Holiday Weight Gain: Americans Expected to Gain 8lbs Over the Next Month
After relaxing and indulging for an entire month (maybe even two), you step on the scale to confront your holiday weight gain.
If you see that you are eight pounds heavier, then you are right on target to meet the national average weight gain for Americans.
No matter where you are, the months of November, December, and a bit of January are always problematic when it comes to weight, especially for Americans. We eat more and move less which together spells trouble on the scale.
Don’t become part of this statistic; instead, focus on losing or maintaining weight.
The Scale Doesn’t Lie
Everyone knows that people are lured by all kinds of delicious foods during the holiday period.
It starts with all that Halloween candy, moves through to Thanksgiving (and all the leftovers), peaks at Christmas dinner, and culminates in New Year’s celebrations. Add in going on vacation and having a bucketload of treats, and you soon find yourself unbuttoning your pants to make room for your stomach.
Don’t fool yourself: All of these meals, snacks, and overindulgent treats will appear on the scale.
A recent study about holiday eating habits reveals that Americans don’t care much about what they consume over the holidays.
Just look at these numbers:
90% of people don’t worry about dieting during the holiday season.
39% of individuals wear stretchy clothes to allow overeating.
48% of people loosen belts or unbutton pants while eating.
39% eat so much they feel unwell.
These numbers reveal the reality of Americans eating habits during the holidays. Although celebrating is fine, too many of us are overdoing it.
Worry About It Next Year
As much as people overeat, they also know that this situation is temporary and cannot continue after the holidays. It results in health-based New Year’s resolutions; unfortunately, these are likely to be broken. Regardless, the intention behind these resolutions is good.
Which one of these resolutions would be on your list?
I want to exercise more.
I want to eat healthier.
I want to prioritize self-care.
If any of these three feature on your list of resolutions, then you are quite similar to many Americans. Most people list the three resolutions in the order shown above.
The tricky part is to make these resolutions last way beyond New Year’s. Preferably, these resolutions should turn into habits that remain in place throughout the holiday season.
Don’t Switch off Healthy Habits
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean that you should let all your hard work fly out the door. Whether you have been eating healthy or plan to in the upcoming year, you need good habits that will last a lifetime.
Habits start with mindset and trump all circumstances. Learn how to hack your brain to Win the Game of Weight Loss by attending our free training.
Prevent Holiday Weight Gain
Weight gain during the holidays is unnecessary and entirely preventable. Even if you do pick up a pound or two, you can defeat this problem either by having a holiday eating plan in place to lose weight afterward or to lose weight in advance so that you pick up to your usual weight during the holidays.
The idea of weight gain is not a novel one—Americans actually expect to pile on the pounds and have done so for years. Many of us expected to gain six and seven pounds in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, most people gained seven pounds, and this year, the expectation is eight pounds over the holiday season.
Two out of three people believe that they deserve treats during the holidays because they had a tough year. This is partly to blame on the COVID-19 pandemic which saw most people adding seven pounds to their weight.
Temporary Breaks Are Okay
We aren’t saying you have to stick to your diet the entire holidays—it’s okay to indulge occasionally, but you still need to control yourself and make this the exception.
If you consume “bad” things daily from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, then you have wasted more than a month when you could have done better. The thing is, weight is much easier to put on than it is to take off, so you need to consider your choices more carefully.
Focus On the Bigger Picture
When we think of the holidays, we often do so in isolation. We forget that the indulgent days are interspersed throughout the season and don’t all run one after the other—that is what you need to focus on.
Instead of seeing special days in isolation, consider them within the bigger picture of each month and an entire year. They only make up a couple of days, so if you stay healthy on the other days, then you can let loose (moderately) on special occasions.
In the end, it comes down to planning and your attitude toward the holidays. If you can get your mindset right in advance, then you can get a head start on preparing mentally for the holiday feast.
Get Your Mindset Right
Our battle for weight loss is a mental one much more than it is a physical one. If you can change your attitude toward your weight, then it will drop off.
In Winning the Game of Weight Loss, John Assaraf teaches you how to overcome weight issues through mental strategies. Register now for your free training.
Take Control of Your Weight
Make this holiday season different by taking control of your health and what goes into your mouth. Don’t sit back and say, “I’ll work on my health next year.”
It’s much better to be aware of your health and well-being the entire holiday season than to place all the emphasis on 2022.
Ultimately, you are the only person who can control what goes into your mouth. Other people might put food out on the table or offer it to you, but it remains your choice to consume it.
Learning self-control takes time, so start preparing before the holidays. Decide ahead of time to only have one sweet treat daily or to stick to a single serving instead of going for seconds.
Be kind to yourself throughout the holidays. If you manage to maintain self-control just once daily, then you are already making progress. Don’t beat yourself up about small transgressions; instead, acknowledge your mistake and make the decision to do better in the future.
Establish Healthy Habits
A healthy habit takes about 60 to 100 days to become part of your life. Ideally, you should build healthy eating habits ahead of the holidays, but you can also opt to start them right now.
Begin with a small change and practice it daily. Write down the small habits that will help you throughout the holiday season.
Here are some examples:
Make every other drink a glass of water.
Go for a 15-minute walk daily.
Skip starches with one meal daily.
Eat off a smaller plate.
Add a serving of vegetables to every meal.
Only eat junk food once a week.
Don’t take a second helping.
Only eat one small sugary treat daily.
These are small changes. but they will reduce calorie consumption and instill healthy habits.
Set Boundaries in Advance
Sticking to healthy decisions during the holidays is tough because you are surrounded by friends and family members. They can easily sway you to think it’s okay that you go off track. They might even pressure you to conform to their consumption norms.
It’s perfectly fine to set boundaries with your family and friends—in fact, you should be doing this anyway. Make it clear to your loved ones what is and isn’t acceptable so that they know you aren’t being unreasonable.
For instance, explain to them that you skip breakfast because you are fasting. Ask them not to give you any alcohol or junk food. Another option is to tell them that you will be making your own meals at times, and they are welcome to join you.
You can indulge responsibly. It’s quite possible to let go on special occasions and consume what you want on those days, but you have to do this with an action plan in mind.
Decide ahead of time on which days you are not going to stick to your diet. For example, do so on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
If you only indulge freely on these three days, then you have much more time to focus on staying healthy. Do some extra exercise on these days; limit your calories or fast; and drink more water to make up for the days you will be going beyond the norm.
Even on your indulgent days, try to eat some healthy foods. One option is to tell the party hosts that you will bring a dish for the table. Ensure the food on that dish is something you would normally eat and make it a healthy option.
Easy Weight Loss Is Possible
It’s easier to break healthy habits than to stick with eating the right things and exercising. Easy weight loss is possible, but you have to change your thinking first. Learn how to Win the Game of Weight Loss with John Assaraf and see results faster than ever before.
About The Author
NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.
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