Archives for December 2, 2013

The Season of Over Eating, Over Drinking and Weight Gain

As we start the holiday season, here is some information that is certainly not jolly!

I was reading on a fellow bloggers site that:


The Average North American gains 5 pounds a year after the age of 25, and that between 1 ½ to 4 pounds of this annual weightdoctor-scale  gain happens between Thanksgiving and New Year’s?!?


And even more disturbing, is the fact that more heart attacks occur during the holidays with a 5% greater increase in heart attacks between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  (There are a lot of factors that may contribute to this statistic such as stress, travel and putting off going to the doctor, but over eating rich, heavy foods is certainly a factor.)


When you think about it, all of this weight gain and poor health isn’t surprising. This is the time of year when we over eat, eat a lot of “bad” food, and over drink.


People make a point to see friends and relatives during this season, and these get togethers most often include not only food, but “fancy” food prepared with lots of sugar, butter and cream.  People don’t serve plain baked potatoes at the holidays, but rather a sweet potato casserole complete with brown sugar, butter and marshmallows!  Nor will steamed vegetables do; for the holidays the vegetables are served with buttery or creamy sauces to make them “special”.   Not to mention, at all these holiday parties we tend to “pick” at all the high calorie hors ‘devours and to over drink consuming lots of empty calories!  Plus, you can’t go anywhere without running into dishes of candy or cookies.  And who can resist those, especially when we are a little run down and tired.


Yikes!  What can we do?


First off, there are plenty of tips out there for not gaining weight during the holidays, and I’m sure you (like I) have read them all.  But, there is no simple fix.  The data proves that no matter what we say, we will not lose the extra weight come January.  The trick is to not gain it in the first place.


We can’t eat hundreds of more calories without gaining weight.  Increasing our exercise will help, but keep in mind that a piece of apple pie has 411 calories, add some vanilla ice cream and the calorie count jumps to 640.  An hour of brisk walking (3.5 on the treadmill) burns only 267 calories.  So as you can see, exercise won’t erase all the extra eating!


Even though it is the holiday season, we need to continue to eat healthy (that mean’s lots of fruits and vegetables), and eat and drink in moderation.