Alex and I have been talking about Thanksgiving coming up, and how you have to watch out for the weight you gain during the holidays. Several articles and blogs have covered how you will gain weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas (I might even throw in Halloween if you’re a real candy junkie), but “The skinny on Holiday Weight Gain” from the New York Times does a good job of cutting between the myths and realities of the whole situation.
What I have gleaned from the readings I have done (and the NYT blog agrees), you will put on weight during this time of the year (it will vary for each person, but for most it will be one pound) and almost all adults do not end up getting rid of this weight. The average adult gains two pounds a year, which means one whole pound is coming from a month long period of time.
Three things that I have done in the last year to combat the thanksgiving effect are:
1) I use Thanksgiving as my free day for that week. This way I don’t feel guilty about eating what I want, but it also makes sure that I don’t splurge before or after the holiday.
2) Last year I did a three mile run in the morning before going to my sisters for dinner in the afternoon. This year Alex, my cousin, and I are going to run a 10k in the morning before we go home to help cook. A little calorie burn the morning of will put you ahead of curve and make you feel a little better about indulging at dinner.
3) I don’t take leftovers home (except for maybe the carcass of the Turkey for some killer homemade soup). This last one may be the most important in sticking to your diet in the days following the holiday. If that half a pecan pie or tub of mashed potatoes aren’t in your house, you can’t eat them.
The above clip is from Mad Men, where Betty Draper has gained weight and is going to weight watchers. This scene struck me a being very sad, because no one wants to be watching their weight on Thanksgiving when everyone else is indulging. I say have what you want, maybe don’t go back for seconds, and don’t feel bad about it. It is one day, and if you are vigilant before and after, you can skip adding that dreaded holiday pound.