How much weight do you put on during the winter holidays? Many may think the weight increases by 2-3 kilograms, but if we are to believe a study from the New England Journal of Medicine, it is probably far less. The authors included 195 people with great diversity of ethnicity and age, who were weighed four times between October and March. This allowed the researchers to see the change in weight before, during and after the holidays.
The weight did not increase significantly in the period before the holidays, but in the holiday period it went up on average 0.37 kg. This is less than many people assume one gains during the holiday season, but more than what the subjects in the study themselves thought they put on. It may seem like good news that weight increases less than you might think during the holidays, but it can still be problematic. The researchers found that the weight did not go back down in the period after the holiday, suggesting that weight increase can contribute to why people become overweight.
The study also looked at self-reported physical activity, and not surprisingly, those who reported the highest decline in physical activity during the holiday also put on the most weight. It’s hard to keep up your training habits during the holiday, but remember that little is better than none. You could for example do 1×4 minute interval training, which has been described in a previous blog post about Movember fitness.
Fredrik Hjulstad Bækkerud, PhD Candidate at CERG