The holiday season is synonymous with free flow of food, overeating, and a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise often loses its top slot in our list of priorities. All this adds up to weight gain.
Obesity, however, is a growing problem in the US. On average, folks gain between 0.4-1 kilogram or 0.9-2.2 pounds every year. 50% of this weight gain occurs over the holidays such as during Christmas.
This means that you need to pay serious attention to your weight over this festive season. In this regard, a new study may have a tip for you. So, without further, let’s dive into the details:
The Study and Its Background
Evidence suggests that the weight gained during the holiday is hard to get rid of. We rarely manage to lose the pounds gained at this point. As life unfolds further, it adds more to the seasonal weight gain.
However, authors of the study under the spotlight in this article believe that targeting this time can offer a way to reduce the implications of obesity. They suggest that by paying attention to weight gain at this point, you may be able to slow the weight gain that occurs over the year.
The findings of these authors have been published in the journal BMJ. It was conducted by researchers from the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research and the School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences at the Loughborough University in the UK.
Details of the Study
The researchers wanted to comprehend if a straightforward intervention could help reduce weight gain over the Christmas. To this end, a participant pool of 272 people was chosen. Of these, 78% of the participants were white and the same percent were female.
Their weight measurements were taken in November and a follow up was taken in January. As per the investigations, the participants were divided into two groups, one of these was the control group and the other was the intervention group.
Members in the intervention group were asked to record their weight at least twice in a week. They were encouraged to keep a track of their weight and how it changed over time. Plus, participants in the group were given weight management tips along with info on how much physical activity would be required to burn the calories of each festive food consumed.
More such strategies were pursued with the aim being to restraint energy consumption during the holiday season. In contrast with the intervention group, the control group was given a leaflet on healthy living only.
Data from the findings showed that the participants in the intervention group gained less weight than the others in the control group. There was an average difference of 1.1 pounds or 0.49 kilograms.
Although the difference is small, the study shows that restraint, self-monitoring your weight, and limiting calorie intake can help prevent weight gain over this festive season. So, for those of you who find making lifestyle changes hard, managing weight this way can prove to be helpful.