Frightful Weekend

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween! Mostly it was great, but I got stuck on a work problem and spent too much of the afternoon and evening on the phone. You’d think that would mean I was able to avoid the party temptations, but instead, I ate MORE than I would than if I’d been out talking to people and not sitting on the phone. I would wander out to the party and get a plate, then go back and listen to my headset and nibble. Feeling sorry for myself and comforting with food. Classic.

But that was one afternoon. All morning I knew I was going to a party and I thought I’d be going out to a trick or treat event, so I made super  good choices for breakfast (veggie frittata) and had a protein drink before heading to the party. Then AFTER the party, I reclaimed my health and made a healthy dinner so I ended the grazing with some beautiful lamb chops, green peas and baked brown rice made with chicken broth. Now I’m sipping my hot lemon tea and when that’s done, I’ll eat my protein power oatmeal.

Routine? Yes, but routines are what will save me from the holidays and my usual weight gain.  I was trying to find statistics on weight and found this on Wikipedia:

Yanovski et al.[5] investigated the assertion that the average American gains 2.3 kg (5 lb) over the Christmas and holiday season, and found that in fact the data do not support this assertion. They found rather that average weight gain over the Christmas and holiday season is somewhat less, at around 0.48 kg (1 lb). They also found that this weight gain is not reversed over the rest of the year, and concluded that this “probably contributes to the increase in body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood”.
Chan et al.[8] investigated the increases in A1C and fasting plasma glucose in type 2 diabetic patients, to see whether these increases were steady throughout the year or varied seasonally. They concluded that the winter holidays did influence the glycemic control of the patients, with the largest increases being during that period, increases that “might not be reversed during the summer and autumn months”.

But the study went on to say that this is only true for the AVERAGE American. Overweight and Obese people gained more:

….overweight and obese volunteers were more likely to gain five pounds than were those who were not overweight, which suggests that the holiday season may present special risks for those who are already overweight.

So the (on average) 10 pounds a year, if you are obese, gained from Halloween to New Years can really account for 150 pounds after 15 years, if you gain too much and don’t lose all of it.

Well, duh! If we didn’t have a problem with food, dude, we wouldn’t be obese! And yes, the holidays pose a special risk. There’s more food around, more social events centered on food, it’s cold and dark outside and we are creatures who have been trained over the millennia to store fat over the winter.

The good news is that we are not mindless primitives, scrabbling for our livelihood. So don’t use that as an excuse. If you go overboard on food, go overboard on exercise. If you skip your workout to go to a party, sip some seltzer and nibble on the fruit and cheese platter. Find your balance.

And if and when you fall down, get up and dust yourself off and go back to your healthy routines.

That’s gonna save me from the holidays. Which means I get to ENJOY the holidays and not worry about the food or the weight gain. So now, off to the gym to burn off the dip, the cake, the booze and the chips. It might take a few hours…

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