Holiday Weight Gain Is Real & Starts In October

woman celebrating champagneBelieve it or not, people all over the world celebrate the holidays by gaining weight. In fact, the “average American” gains a minimum of five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Meanwhile, new research led by Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab, found that of their nearly 3,000 participants in the United States, Germany, and Japan, their “weight began to rise throughout October and November, and peaked 10 days after Christmas.” According to the year-long study, members were weighed daily, gaining on average 1.3 pounds during the Christmas to New Year’s holiday — not to exclude Halloween and Thanksgiving.

While 1-5 pounds doesn’t seem all that extreme — considering only half the weight quickly came off following the holiday season – it’s something to keep in mind whilst reaching for that second piece of sweet potato pie. As for the significance of the findings, Brian Wansink, PhD, co-author of the new study said:

““In past studies, results have been self-reported, or people would come into a facility to be weighed. That means people could fib or change their behavior because they know they’re being monitored.”

In an effort to cut out the “fibbing,” Wansink revealed that while participants knew they were being monitored, they didn’t know over what period of time or for what reasons. Contributors would then weigh themselves daily, which in reality, would likely happen anyway. “In that sense, we were getting behavior that was much more natural,” Wansink said.