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Yes, Virginia, you can enjoy the holidays without gaining 10 lbs. In fact, most people only gain a pound or two. But why do myths about holiday weight gain keep popping up all over your favorite health blogs? For most publications, it’s just a regular part of the end of year editorial cycle designed to get you freaked out about your body in January. At DailyBurn, we don’t buy into that! We think we can be happy and healthy year-round without jumping on the fad diet train to nowheresville.
Check out these top myths that we are busting about holiday weight gain:
Myth: The average American gains 5 – 10 lbs during the holidays.
Busted: The average American only gains about 1 lb during the holiday season, according to a report published in a blog post by Thrive Personal Fitness founder Pamela Hernandez. So why does this myth persist? First, people feel a little more sluggish during the holidays thanks to colder weather and less hours of daylight. Second, January is a big month for fitness companies to push out new products. If you feel like you gained a lot of weight (even if is just a pound of two), you will be more likely to buy. Here are DailyBurn, we believe that health and fitness is a year-round lifestyle. Fitness doesn’t begin in January. It begins now.
Myth: If you indulge in your favorite holiday treats, you’ll gain weight.
Busted: You can absolutely indulge in your favorite treats, as long as you do one of two things: just eat a small portion, or make a healthy version of your favorite treat and eat more of it. Personally, I’d rather substitute healthy ingredients in my favorite recipes and eat more food! Want to know how to substitute healthy ingredients into your holiday treats? Check out this healthy ingredient substitute guide from The Greatist.
Myth: The holidays are a time to relax by sitting around with family and friends.
Busted: Hanging out with the people that you love is awesome, but you don’t have to sit around on the couch to have a good time catching up. Do something active and fun with your family instead. Sign up for a local Jingle Bell 5k, or take your party outside and go sledding. Enjoy your family and friends during the holidays, but get off your cabooses and get moving together.
Myth: Weight gain is something that “just happens”. It’s easier to not worry about it over the holidays and deal with the repercussions in the new year.
Busted: Weight gain of even a pund or two is preventable during the holidays. You have to get real with yourself and stop using the new year as a crutch to be naughty right now. Each choice that you make affects your future. Eating poorly doesn’t just affect your weight. It also affects your mood and your longterm health. Do you really want to make it harder on your future self in January when you have to put yourself through a sugar detox? The cycle of overindulging and dieting results in weight regain, with an average of 2/3 of dieters regaining weight in 6 months.
Myth: The holidays are so busy, that you don’t have time to continue your regular fitness routine.
Busted: Although you may not have time to continue your marathon training, you do have time to continue some kind of fitness routine. In just 15 minutes a day, you can squeeze in full workout if you keep it focused and intense. If you are a member of DailyBurn, tune in to one of the high intensity workouts that you can watch on your laptop, smartphone, or iPad. Since your trainer is now in your pocket, you have no excuse not to workout this holiday season.
No excuses, people! Let’s get out there and have fun for the rest of 2011 without the guilt and overindulgence emotional roller coaster! Don’t panic, and don’t go crazy at the dessert table. It’s that simple.
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