Look around and you’ll see Christmas trees starting to line the streets next to garbage cans and lights being taken down. Holiday parties have come and gone. It’s back to the grind.
How was it?
I hope you had a fantastic holiday season with your loved ones.
Did you know that the average American gains 1-2 pounds every winter holiday season? I bet you didn’t know that, because most of these people never even notice.
Be honest. If you gained 1 pound right now, would you notice? Unless you are rocking sub 12% body fat, you probably wouldn’t. You may always think you’ve gained a pound, but that’s a different story.
For most Americans, gaining a pound or two at the holidays goes completely unnoticed.
Why is this a problem?
Because according to the research, most Americans will never lose that pound again. That’s right. That pound you just gained will be with you the rest of your life.
And here’s the real kicker — do this for a few holiday seasons in a row, and that’s how most Americans get overweight.
Let’s say you spend the next 20 holiday seasons doing your best to keep it in check, but let’s face it, it’s the holidays you’re going to indulge. And in each of those 20 years, you pack on one measly pound.
“So what, coulda been worse!”
20 holiday seasons of this means 20 extra pounds you’ve got with you.
And that’s just the weight you gain over the holidays! Let’s say that on average you can another pound the rest of the year. That’s really not much. In fact, to gain a pound of fat you need to consume 3,500 calories more than you burn. Averaged out over 365 days, that means just an extra 10 calories per day, or the number of calories in 5 Tic Tacs.
You think you’d notice an extra 5 Tic Tacs worth of calories per day over the course of a year? Not likely.
That’s why weight gain is SO incredibly easy.
Yeah everyone points to the indulgences — the fast food, the extra dessert, the soda, etc. And sure those help you get to your extra 5 Tic Tacs per day. Indulgences like that are a real problem.
But the reality is gaining weight slowly over time is incredibly easy to do, if you’re not careful.
Thus, with your 5 bonus Tic Tacs per day you also gain a pound during the year, bringing your annual weight gain to 2 pounds. Still not noticeable from one year to the next. But over the next 20 years? Well you’re looking at a 40 pound spare tire. Very noticeable when you flip through the old photo books.
So, I go back to my original question — how’d you do this year?
Did you put on any weight? Do you even know?
If you noticed you gained a pound you are already ahead of the curve. Noticing a problem is the first step to fixing it. You can’t lose what you don’t know you have.
That’s why for long-term weight maintenance, stepping on a scale regularly is crucial. And tracking your food is pretty darn helpful as well. Yeah, it can be a pain, and you can totally get into a rhythm of foods that keeps you naturally thin.
But especially in the beginning, tracking your food and matching it to the number on the scale is vital to long-term weight loss success, and keeping it off.
Don’t be like the statistic. See, most people don’t try to get fat, or eat like complete slobs year round (OK, this is America, so plenty of people do, but if you’re reading this you’re probably not chowing down Big Macs on a nightly basis).
Most people get fat very slowly over decades.
You can avoid this by regularly weighing in on a scale, monitoring what you eat, and living a generally healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of whole plant foods and exercise. And, if you’re like me and have had way too many dark chocolate covered almonds this holiday season, you’ll catch yourself and work that pound or two off again in no time.
Don’t be a statistic. Catch your weight gain before it happens.
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