This is why you put on weight at Christmas
Depending on whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it’s a time of year synonymous with eating a lot – and we mean a lot – of food. It’s the grand finale of the year. A chance to treat yourself and others with both gifts and delicious meals. People let their hair down at Christmas; often at their waist line’s expense.
But why is this the case? Why at Christmas do we put on more weight than any other time of year? In this blog, we’ll be looking at the main reasons why you may put on a few pounds over the festive period, and what you can do to help yourself and make that January detox a little easier.
Do we actually put on weight at Christmas?
But first, let’s clear up a few things around the weight debate at Christmas. It’s a common belief among adults that everyone piles on the pounds from December through to the 1st of January. This may be the case for some, but the majority of us will only see a slight increase in weight.
It’s true, people overestimate weight gain at Christmas. Reports and studies vary, but most people will only see a slight increase.
What’s the average weight gain at Christmas?
According to the British Dietetic Association, the average person will consume 6,000 kcals on Christmas day, and over the festive period, the average person could consume an extra 500 kcals per day – which equates to 5lbs by the time the new year comes around.
Despite these figures, most people’s weight gain during this period is perfectly manageable and nothing to be alarmed by. Yes, we may be susceptible to a slight increase in weight, but these figures do not live up to the hysteria that’s associated with gaining weight at Christmas.
Without pointing out the obvious reason for the festive weight gain (eating more food), there are also a number of factors that can be attributed to increased weight during this period.
While it’s likely they’ll be very few – if any – Christmas parties this year, there are usually plenty to choose from. Because it’s the end of the year people tend to enjoy themselves. This involves a fair amount of alcohol and considerable amounts of food.
Whether it’s work, or family-related, party antics are a primary reason for excess weight at this time of year. A few drinks and a couple of mince pies don’t do any harm, but when you have too many it’s no wonder you gain a few pounds.
Types of Food
As well as the sheer amount of food people consume at Christmas, it’s also the type of food that sees our weight increase slightly. If you celebrate Christmas with traditional British festive foods, you’re likely to eat a lot of carbs. While there’s plenty of vegetables to go round, the primary food is carb-based – a tricky decision for those watching their weight.
Lack of Sleep
There’s also the issue of not getting enough sleep during this period. It’s known as the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the busiest. There’s a mad rush to get work done, shopping, parties, and a lot of things on everyone’s plate. This all comes at sleep expense.
A lack of sleep is bad for our weight for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are two hormones that play a key role: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is a ‘go’ hormone that tells you when you need to eat; when you’re sleep-deprived, you have more of it. Leptin tells you to stop eating, and when you’re sleep-deprived you have less of it.
Not enough sleep is also usually a major reason for our inability to exercise. If we’re tired or feeling a little worse for wear, the last thing we can be bothered to do is exercise and sweat of the previous night’s fun.
How can I stop gaining weight for Christmas?
There are a number of things we can all do to keep an eye on our weight at Christmas. Of course, at a time of year where everyone is gradually slowing down and happy to sit back and relax, a lot of these methods are easier said than done. But here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Choose your snacks wisely
- Watch portion sizes – resist overindulging when you can
- Get plenty of sleep
Come January, the detox begins. But getting yourself motivated for this long month of exercise and dieting can be a real struggle. It would be brilliant if there was a simple solution…
Luckily, there is. At EKCL, we are specialists in obesity treatment. Through our method, Elektromeridian Kobra, we use principles of Electrotherapy alongside those of Auriculotherapy and reflexology. In our eyes, it’s the most effective form of obesity treatment without surgery.
So, if you’re worried about your weight in the post-Christmas period, or at any time at all, please get in touch.