For many, the holiday season is synonymous with weight gain. There are so many more opportunities for overindulgence in food and alcohol while enjoying the company of family and friends. Even the most experienced weight controller can be derailed during the holidays and end up with a few extra pounds. On Christmas day alone, an individual might eat as much as 6000 calories! That’s three times the recommended daily allowance. However, by following a few simple tips, you can curb your overindulgence and stop the pounds from piling on at Christmas.
A new study published in the British Medical Journal shows that when people weigh themselves daily, monitor food intake and track how much physical activity is needed to burn off extra calories from favorite holiday foods they were able to get through the holiday season without gaining weight.
The study was carried out in 2016 and 2017, with participants weighed and measured in November and December each year and then follow-up measurements were taken in January and February 2017 and 2018. There were 272 participants in the study.
Half received only general information about leading a healthy lifestyle. This group was called the comparison group.
The intervention group—the other half, was asked to weigh themselves at least twice per week, but ideally every day, and record their weight.
To encourage mindful eating, they were asked to maintain a food and beverage diary.
They were also given 10 top tips for weight management and a list of how much physical activity would be needed to burn off calories found in favorite food and drinks eaten at Christmas.
For example, it takes 60 minutes of gardening to burn the 330 calories in a slice of sweet potato pie, 30 minutes of swimming laps to burn the 260 calories in 1 cup of stuffing and 30 minutes of golf to burn ½ cup of eggnog.