Tags: weight gain | holidays | winter | continues

Holiday Weight Gain Persists Long Term

woman weighing herself on scale with holiday decorations around on floor
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 January 2024 02:30 PM EST

Unfortunately, if you packed on some extra pounds this holiday season, you are likely to keep that weight for the long term, according to Romanian researchers. That extra weight can amount to 50% of the total gained throughout the year, meaning gaining weight during the winter holiday season might contribute to a cycle of gradually increasing weight over a person’s lifetime, says Medical News Today.

The winter holiday season, beginning from the last week of November to the first or second week in January, is a time fueled with overconsumption of high-calorie, high-sugar foods, drinks, and alcohol, along with decreased physical activity. The researchers from Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Romania also included psychological factors for holiday weight gain as well as the nutritional makeup of popular foods. They found that most people kept the weight that they gained, especially those who were already obese.

“The holiday season can be stressful and those experiencing stress tend to have higher levels of cortisol, the hormone that’s released in response to stress,” said Dr. Steven Batash, a board certified gastroenterologist who was not involved in the study. Batash says people may also have up to 80% higher levels of melatonin during the holidays, which can increase appetite and disrupt the sleep cycle.

In analyzing the data from 10 studies that focused on holiday weight gain, the Romanian researchers found that in one multinational study, people in the U.S., Germany and Japan who gained weight during the holidays, still had half the excess weight 12 months later, indicating the long-term effect of seasonal weight gain.

According to Muscle & Fitness, Americans consume up to 4,500 calories during traditional holiday celebrations such as Thanksgiving, office parties, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve. To help lose those extra holiday pounds, try these hacks:

• Cut out processed foods, especially those made with sugar. Sugar intake can be addictive and can lead to an unhealthy cycle of cravings and binges. Eliminate all desserts including those leftover holiday cookies for four to 10 days.

• Shrink your stomach. Your stomach is a flexible organ that can shrink or expand depending on your food intake. If you eat less, over time, your stomach will shrink, says Muscle & Fitness. Reduce all temptation to finish your entire plate of food either at home or when dining out by removing 1/3 off your plate and putting the food into a container to save for lunch the following day.

• Increase your protein consumption. Research suggests that protein prolongs a feeling of fullness. Eat more Greek yogurt, chicken, turkey, or salmon.

• Cut out alcohol. Now may be the right time to experiment with limiting your intake of high-calorie, alcoholic drinks.

• Increase daily exercise. After the holidays, resume your gym routine or join the local YMCA to begin a new regimen. Some of the best membership deals begin right after the holidays.

• Manage stress. Try deep breathing exercise or meditation to help you cope with the stressors that could lead you back to overeating and drinking, says Inc.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
Unfortunately, if you packed on some extra pounds this holiday season, you are likely to keep that weight for the long term, according to Romanian researchers. That extra weight can amount to 50% of the total gained throughout the year, meaning gaining weight during the...
weight gain, holidays, winter, continues
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2024-30-02
Tuesday, 02 January 2024 02:30 PM
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