- While the holidays mean eating more than you usually do, there are facts and falsehoods that you need to know about weight gain during this season.
- They say we gain a lot during the holidays; however, research says it isn’t so.
- One fact says bloating doesn’t mean gaining fat. Rather, it’s caused by an excessive intake of carbs.
The holiday season is the time of the year when you feel tempted to indulge then worry about the consequences next year. Do you think the things you believe about gaining weight during the holidays are really true?
Here are five lies and truths about how your weight is actually affected by the holiday season.
MYTH: Nearly everyone gains a full size
Results from a new Texas Tech University study showed 48 men and 100 women volunteers between ages 18 and 65 gained an average of one and a half pounds within the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Based on their weights and body fat percentages that were taken prior and after the trials, men gained about 2 pounds while the women gained only a pound. These are far less than the usual 7-10 pounds often expected during the holidays.
FACT: Bloating is different from fat weight
If you feel like you’ve packed on more weight than you have, it’s because many of the food during holidays cause bloating and water retention. When you overeat carbs, the excess carbs are stored as glycogen, which gets stored in your muscle tissue. Storing a higher amount of glycogen causes sluggishness and bloating, but once you resume your usual eating pattern, you’ll shed the excess. Sodium-rich foods like baked goods also makes your body hang onto excess fluid. Although both are not fat weight, they can create a bloated look, and cause you feel heavy.
MYTH: Exercise can hold off the pounds
In the Texas Tech study, half of the participants were inactive while the other half worked out for about five hours a week. Yet, both groups gained the same amount of weight. While working out doesn’t necessarily ward off weight and control your indulgences, don’t ditch it. It still has other benefits like stress reduction and sleep improvement.
MYTH: I’ll lose the pounds after the holidays
Past studies have shown that most people never lose the holiday pounds because typically after ditching their New Year’s resolutions, most gain back all or even more of the weight they have lost.
FACT: It’s never too late to shed off some holiday poundage
Between now and January 1st, there are two simple goals you need to commit to:
First, “budget” your carbs, and hydrate. While it’s not advisable to completely abandon the carbs, it’s better if you control your intake. Leave the starches you can live without. For instance, opt for a salad with lean protein instead of a sandwich laden with carbs.
Second, not only does drinking more water hydrate you but a weight control strategy as well. Adults who drank 2 cups of water before meals over a period of 2 weeks lost 40% more weight, while others eat less. Drinking water also stops you from sugary and sweetened drink intake, which can hinder weight control.