Moger: Avoid the seasonal weight gain push

The weight you gain in October, November and December takes the typical person five months to lose after the first of the year.

Bobbi Moger

So all that summer walking, biking and getting outside has paid off.

According to Brian Wansink, the Cornell University food and brand lab director, the skinniest you’re ever going to be during the year is in early October after a summer of regular exercise and healthy eating.

But now comes the holiday eating season. It started with Thanksgiving and then Halloween, and Christmas is coming. All of it means big meals, big parties and big weight gain.

The problem is the weight you gain in October, November and December takes the typical person five months to lose after the first of the year. Michelle May, with Healthy Eating, reminds us that overeating one day out of the year won’t sabotage your diet plans, but continuing such eating behaviour throughout the holiday season will lead to the challenge of unwanted weight to lose come the new year.

So why eat until you become uncomfortable? Let’s enjoy the occasion and still feel good when it’s over. Mindful eating is important. It allows you to focus on the immediate effects of eating more than you needed, rather than beating yourself up over the potential long term consequences.

That allows you to make adjustments and learn from the experience. Here’s how: Sit quietly and become completely aware of your body. Focus on the sensations so you’ll remember them the next time you’re tempted to overeat.

Does your stomach feel full, stretched, or bloated? Is there any discomfort or pain?

Do your clothes feel tight? Is there any nausea or heart burn? Do you feel short of breath? How is your energy level? Do you feel sleepy, sluggish, tired, or lethargic? You may be less likely to repeat the mistake if you remind yourself how it feels to overeat (kind of takes the fun out of it, doesn’t it!).

Lastly, do not use exercise to punish yourself for overeating. It’s easy to fall into an eat-repent-repeat cycle. Instead, be active daily and use the food you consume to live a full and satisfying life!

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