We’re still in prime indulging season, filled with tempting treats and worries over holiday weight gain even through January.
Don’t worry too much – a lot of holiday weight gain ‘facts’ is actually fiction. Here are some falsehoods about holiday weight gain that should ease some guilt (but still try not to go overboard):
Myth 1: Most people gain a full size
A recent study from Texas Tech University followed 48 men and 100 women between the ages of 18 and 65 for the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Measuring their weight and body fat percentages at the beginning and end of the study, the volunteers, on average, gained one and a half pounds, which is far, far less than the 7 to 10 that’s often cited during the holidays.
Myth 2: Exercise keep the holidays pounds away
In the same Texas Tech study, half the subjects were active and the other half worked out for about five hours a week – yet both groups gained the same weight. We’re not suggesting to ditch working out since it won’t be as fruitful, but does align with other studies that suggest amping up the exercise may not lead to burning away that holiday weight gain. There are numerous benefits to exercise of course, just don’t count on it to cancel out those indulgences.
Myth 3: I’ll lose it all in January
Gaining a pound or two of fat may seem like nothing, but it’ll add up over the years – holiday weight gain is notoriously difficult to shed. Studies solidify the argument, pointing to abandoned New Year’s resolutions to people gaining back all (or more) of the weight they may lose. This ‘weight creep’ is what leads to many people packing on 10-20 pounds a decade.
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