About this time of year you are going to see a ton of headlines about how people gain a huge amount of weight during the holidays. Headlines to the effect of “You will gain 10 pounds this year at Christmas” provide the shock and awe factor to try and motivate or scare you into something.
Honestly, that’s a bit chicken little.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Holiday weight gain does happen. That weight gain can contribute to people being overweight or having obesity. We know that holiday weight gain generally doesn’t tend to fall off by the next summer. But, how big is this issue and what do we do about it?
That puts the holiday weight issue into perspective and helps us figure out what type of strategies we need to put into place to help prevent it, or understand the post holiday issue we need to solve. Try to figure out how to prevent 10 pounds and 1 pound are much different animals.
If you want to try and prevent one pound of weight loss this holiday season you just need to figure out how to either eat ~3500-5000 calories less, or burn ~3500-5000 calories more. That is it.
You can do this by:
- Adding a few extra days a week at the gym from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
- Lowering your calorie intake by 300-500 calories a day on non-holiday meal days.
- Go on 5-6 hikes or snowshoe adventures over the holidays.
- Maybe practice some fasting for a few days by skipping breakfast for a few days and not replacing those calories later in the day.
- Being more mindful of the calorie rich foods at holiday meals.
- Skipping the calorie heavy alcoholic drinks and sticking to low-calorie librations.
- Hire a Macros Inc Coach to guide you through it 😉
When the problem is framed correctly, trying to address a one pound problem becomes much easier, less daunting, and less stressful.
This also means that even if you have zero plan going into the holiday, you don’t need to fear them. Realize the magnitude of the problem you might be facing and just deal with that problem… by either preventing it or realizing what work you may have to do after.
Now, here is a little bit of the kicker… it turns out that ~1 pound the average person gains, isn’t lost post holiday.
We just don’t do a good enough job compensating. So, you do not need to stress out about gaining a huge amount of weight over the holiday season, you just need to have a plan for what to do about the small weight gain that may occur.