The Truth About Holiday Weight Gain

We are in the midst of the holiday season, with only 4 days to go until Christmas and 10 days till 2017!

This means holiday parties, Christmas dinner, and New Year’s Eve parties. Events filled with amazing food, treats, and cocktails. All of these can be a little hard to navigate if you are keeping an eye on your diet.

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The spread at my holiday party this past weekend

 

During this time, everyone is always worried about gaining weight or overdoing it with the food and celebrating. I’m here to tell you:

Don’t. Sweat. It.

 

Honestly. That’s my best advice.

Let’s dig a little deeper….

On average, Americans gain about 2lbs during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you’re looking at that number thinking that it’s low, I actually agree with you. When I was researching for this article, I also thought that was low. But a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Americans only gain 1.3-1.8 lbs between Christmas and New Year’s. There was also a slight increase in weight over Thanksgiving weekend.

Additionally, the study found that most people had shed at least half the weight they gained within a few months of the holidays.

I’m sure you’ve heard other people going on and on about “gaining 5-10lbs” over the holidays. Well, either they are exaggerating or they’re literally eating for a week straight without stopping.

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The holidays happen once a year. Yes, it’s a big party and yes, there is a lot of “unhealthy” food, but it’s ONE meal. One meal is not going to make you fat-just like one healthy meal isn’t going to make you skinny.

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My Christmas Eve Dinner: Feast of the Seven Fishes

 

I believe that you should never feel guilty for eating anything that you enjoy. If that means that once a week, you have a burger and fries, then do it. If that means that once a week you eat pizza (hi, that’s me), then do it. If that means eating everything you love at Christmas dinner, then DO IT!

Is watching everyone else eat all your favorite things really worth seeing the number on the scale unchanged?

Enjoy your holiday dinners. Enjoy the cookies and the cakes and the treats. Enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail or two. **This doesn’t mean gorge yourself. Enjoy in moderation, as always**

Go for a walk after dinner. The next day, hit the gym for your regular workout. Be sure to drink lots of water and stay hydrated, during and after the party.  Get back to your regular routine as soon as possible. Try my “12 Days of Fitness” Workout if you’re stuck at home with no equipment. Don’t treat the holidays as a time to completely slack off. Getting back to regular exercise and your regular diet can help reverse or even prevent any “damage” you think you may have done.

I know I will be fully enjoying my mom’s excellent cooking and baking this Christmas. Come December 26, it will be back to my regular diet and training schedule.

Don’t let this pick at your brain.

Eat, enjoy, and forget. Move on.

You never have anything to feel guilty about.

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Table full of cookies at my annual cookie swap
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