For years, I believed the myth that people tend to gain five to seven pounds during the holidays. However, after doing research for this blog, I was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong. I discovered that the average adult only gains about one pound between Thanksgiving and New Years! Per a study on weight gain during the holidays conducted by Dr. Jack Yanovski, Head of Growth and Obesity at the National Institutes of Health, he found that the majority of the participants put on a little over a pound from late September to early March. However, he also found that after weighing the participants a year later, they didn’t go back to their pre-holiday weight; each were up about 1.36 pounds from their initial weights from the year prior. Per Yanovski, “the good news is that most people are not gaining five or six pounds during the holidays, but the bad news is that weight gained over the winter holidays isn't lost during the rest of the year.” Texas Tech University also conducted a similar study with similar results.
So, what does this mean for us? The studies show that small weight gains over the years start to add up. Therefore, if we want to avoid those unwanted pounds, we need to rethink how we approach the holidays when it comes to our health and fitness. Instead of banking on losing that holiday weight by setting New Years resolution work out goals (goals many of us fail to keep), we need to cultivate healthy lifestyles that we consistently keep throughout the year. This will include a regular work out routine and choosing health nutrition options, especially during the holidays. For example, there are many options we can consider when cooking and baking at home to make meals healthier without losing taste. My family has tried some of the substitutes and recipes below and have given great reviews!
When it comes to physical fitness, personal trainers at The Gym are available and equipped to help you reach your fitness goals. We would love to come alongside you to support you in cultivating a healthy lifestyle and together fight against those unwanted pounds during the holidays.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
Author: Michelle Ragain, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Fitness Instructor
Personal Trainer @ The Gym Milford
Healthy Holiday Recipes:
Almond Flour Frosted Sugar Cookie
“All the Time” Chocolate Chip Cookie
Double Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookie
Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies
3-Ingredient Salted Pistachio Chocolate Bark Recipe
Grain-Free Magic Cookie Bars
•Sugar: unsweetened apple sauce, 100% pure maple syrup vanilla or mashed bananas
•Eggs: ground flaxseed of chia seeds (1 egg = 1 Tbs seeds)
•White Flour: 100% whole wheat flour or oats (1 cup white = 7/8 cup whole wheat/oats); almond flour, spelt flour, rye flour (1 for 1 ratio) brown rice flour (mix in half what the recipe calls for and 1/2 brown rice)
•Whole Milk: skim milk (1 to 1 ratio)
•Chocolate Chips: berries (1 to 1 ratio)
•Buttermilk: skim milk and lemon juice(1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup skim milk and 1 tsp lemon juice)