Holiday Weight Gain, Why Do I Seem to Gain Weight During the Holidays?
Written by Diet Bites
The answer may surprise you...
We enter the holiday season with a smile spread across our faces, and generally exit the holiday season with a bigger bulge spread across our waistlines.
Why is that?
Holidays are fun, filled with joy, filled with rapture, filled with many battery-operated intimate gifts, and most importantly, filled with fruitcake, mincemeat pie, plum pudding and yummy sugar cookies stacked high with colored icings and sprinkles.
Hum. Could food goodies be the reason we tend to gain weight during the holiday season?
If so, then why don't we gain comparable weight throughout the year? Are we not subjected to goodies day in and day out, even throughout the year? Of course we are! However, we do tend to pack on the pounds more so during the holidays - and not just during the November to January 1st holidays, but also during Valentine's, Easter, July 4th, Halloween, and also on personal holidays such as birthdays and anniversaries.
Even though the goodies are more pronounced and at times, more plentiful than during 'normal' eating phases of the year, they aren't the chief reason we pack on pounds. These things contribute significantly to weight gain during the holidays:
Preoccupation. When we are in a crowd, such as with family, friends, or at the office holiday party, we get preoccupied with talking. We usually talk near the feasting table. We pick up a tiny chicken salad sandwich here, and a holiday cookie there, and a few glasses of sugary but tasty cranberry punch here, and a juicy goose leg there - and before we realize, we've eaten quite a bit of food. Even worse, we didn't even get to enjoy it, because we were so nervous or busy with our talking, that we didn't realize we were eating.
- Obligation. Friends and relatives sometimes insist that you test their tasty holiday concoctions, and if you don't, they will certainly be offended.
It's amazing how many calories that Aunt Mamie can pack into one innocent looking pecan tassie.
And if you should refuse to taste-test it for her, she'll jut out her bottom lip so far that an F-15 could take off on it with room to spare.
- Stress. Yes, the holidays can cause a calm man to go mad - all those jingling bells and goody smells sifting and ringing through the air.
- Acute happiness. Acute happiness comes in small increments. If we were acutely happy all of the time, we would explode, or turn into cartoon characters with big googly eyes. It just isn't possible to be acutely happy all of the time.
In fact, being acutely happy all the time would make you unhappy.
Nonetheless,when we experience acute happiness and joy, we tend to eat more freely, and without thought. We think, "I am acutely happy! I am filled with holiday joy and the spirit of the season! I feel so free! Life is free! Happiness is free! Joy is free! Even the calories in the 25 pound Black Forest Cheesecake that I just ate are entirely free!"
- Anxiousness. Waiting, waiting, waiting.... Waiting in the check-out lines at the market, at the retailers. Waiting in shopper's traffic on the highway. Waiting for the gifts to be wrapped. Waiting to open up the gifts. Waiting in line to return your gifts. Geeze....waiting can really get a body anxious! And during all of this waiting, we feel trapped. If there is a goody in sight, we reach for it!
- Holiday bills. Oh, this is so depressing that we won't touch more on this naughty, unthinkable subject. But rest assured, debt can trigger overeating.
So now - when the holidays return, you're equipped with knowledge that will help you avoid overeating. Try to remember all of the above 'eating triggers'. Most importantly, don't forget to have fun during the holidays!