It's THAT time of year... the holidays.

Posted by Paul Emmick on

It's THAT time of year... the holidays.
I cannot begin to explain how CRAZY it drives me, when someone says that they cannot lose weight this time of year, you know, because of the 'holidays'. Lindsey mentioned this recently, and i could not agree more, the 'holidays' is only THREE days, FOUR if you include New Years. 
I understand that between Thanksgiving and Christmas people are bringing in snacks to the office, we have pumpkin, apple, and gingerbread flavored everything, pies, desserts, the works.It's kind of been ingrained in our minds to indulge this time of year. 
But lets reign it in and be adults. Is this a free for all to get fat? Did you suddenly lose all self control? Do all your goals that you've been working on all year suddenly not matter any more? So much damage usually gets done in the last 2 month of the year. Imagine how you are going to feel heavier than you are right now? Would you be happy if tomorrow the scale was suddenly 10-15 pounds heavier than it was today? Of course not. 
Before you think I am going holiday drill sergeant on you, I am not. To me, there is nothing more important this time of year than family. And whether it be good or bad, the reality is we convene around food. Have Thanksgiving dinner, I hope it great! I LOVE pumpkin, apple, and gingerbread everything this time of year like the rest of you. My wife makes applesauce that is to die for. And you better believe I had already 'sampled' it too. When it comes to balance, we need to make sure we are still being consistent with exercise, our healthy eating habits, and that will allow us to indulge some.  We just have to exercise some control. In the long run, are a few cookies and higher calorie meals going to totally derail your progress? Of course not. But to help minimize the damage, let's adopt a stronger mindset as we go into the holiday season. 
Just because there may be a platter of cookies in the lunchroom does not mean you need to have 1 of every kind. Have one and move one. What about leftover Halloween candy? We all work with people who would give Martha Stewart a run for her money when it comes to pies and other home made baked goods. But let's do some quick math to put things in perspective.
Let say you have 1-2 cookies a day at work. The average chocolate chip cookie has 190 calories (which is very conservative depending on size and extras). So this is not even counting something more indulgent like a brownie. Lets also say you have 'only' 1 piece of candy a day from leftover Halloween candy:
7 cookies/week X 190 Calories = 1,330 calories
7 serving of Halloween candy/week = 1,330 calories
1 party or get together/week = ~2,000 calories extra
1 Week average= +4,660 calories
Month of November average= +18,640 calories
Month of December average= + 18,640 calories
Total FAT gain - Over 10 pounds*
*1 pound of PURE fat is roughly 3,600 calories. However, 1 pound of fat on our bodies is different. We also hold water, small amounts of protein, cholesterol, and more. So the math above is 10.35 pounds of PURE fat, which will actually equate to more than that on the scale. Scary, huh. 
This also does not factor in New years, alcohol, or additional items consumed, such as pie after dinner, etc. 
To some, this may be an over estimate, but to some, it is actually an underestimate. 
I wanted to break this down not so that you put the brakes on having anything, just to exercise some control. Make it a point to get 1 extra workout in a week, a nice brisk walk as the leaves are changing, just don't totally lose sight of everything you have been working so hard for all year long!
Happy Holidays!

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