The Truth About Christmas Weight Gain

The Truth About Christmas Weight Gain

If you gain a few pounds over Christmas, it’s no big deal. You can just lose it in January, right? Actually, it might not be quite so simple. Research shows that festive weight gain is a significant contributor to our weight struggles. Here’s the truth about Christmas weight gain.

IS IT NORMAL TO GAIN WEIGHT OVER CHRISTMAS?

Studies have shown that 50-90% of the weight Americans gain over the course of their lives is gained in the last two months of the year. And on average, people do not lose the majority of that weight.

Researchers found that over the Christmas period, weight increased by a mean 1.35% and was not fully compensated for in following months.

Just because many people do tend to gain weight over the festive period does not mean it’s inevitable for you. Read on to learn more about why we tend to gain weight in winter and how best to manage your weight this Christmas.

WHAT TIME OF YEAR DO PEOPLE GAIN THE MOST WEIGHT?

While weight gain patterns can vary among individuals and populations, there are some common trends that have been observed in research.

Many people experience weight gain during the festive season in the last two months of the year. In America, this typically runs from Thanksgiving in late November through to Christmas and New Year celebrations, ending early January. In India, Diwali is a popular celebration in mid November which kicks off celebrations into the New Year. Despite not having traditional celebrations that start in November, the UK and Europe have seen Christmas celebrations starting earlier and earlier, largely as a result of commercial drivers encouraging us to eat more and buy more. The abundance of festive meals, treats and social gatherings can contribute to increased intake of high sugar, ultra processed and calorie dense foods during this time.

In colder winter months there is a tendency towards more sedentary behaviour. Not wanting to go out in the cold can lead to decreased physical activity levels. Additionally, the desire for comfort foods and the body’s natural inclination to store energy for warmth may contribute to increased calorie consumption.

The combination of a drop in temperature and an increase in festive celebrations can be a recipe for weight gain.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE WEIGHT GAIN OVER CHRISTMAS?

According to research, people gain an average of 1 to 2 pounds (approximately 0.5 to 1 kg) during the holiday season, which includes Christmas. While this might not sound like a significant amount, the concern is that these small weight gains can add up over the years and contribute to long-term weight gain.

DOES YOUR BODY NATURALLY GAIN WEIGHT IN WINTER?

The relationship between cold weather and weight gain is influenced by various factors. While some studies suggest a potential connection between cold weather and weight gain, it’s important to consider the broader context.

From a physiological perspective, cold weather can increase thermogenesis, which is the body’s process of generating heat to maintain a stable internal temperature. This process may involve burning more calories to produce heat. However, the extent of this effect and its contribution to weight loss or weight maintenance can vary among individuals.

From a psychological perspective, some people experience an increase in appetite during colder months, possibly as a result of the body’s attempt to store energy for warmth. Body fat is, after all, insulating. Comfort foods can be more appealing in colder weather.

Cold weather can also negatively affect activity levels. Some clients that we work with share with us that they feel less inclined to engage in outdoor activities or exercise during the winter, leading to a decrease in overall energy expenditure.

Winter weight gain can be influenced by various factors including festive celebrations and the impact of reduced temperature and daylight hours on lifestyle habits.

When first meeting with new clients, some will report that their weight has yo-yoed for years, gaining weight during the winter months and losing it in the warmer months. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Not everyone experiences weight gain during colder seasons. There are habits you can adopt to ensure your weight stays consistent year-round.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LOSE CHRISTMAS WEIGHT GAIN?

How long it takes to lose the weight you gained over Christmas depends on a number of factors. Firstly, the more weight you gained, the longer it will take to lose. With a nutrition and lifestyle plan designed to suit you, you can expect to lose around 2lbs / 1kg per week.

Some people struggle more than others to lose gained weight. If you feel as though losing weight is especially hard for you, here’s an article on the common causes of weight loss resistance we see in our clinic: How To Overcome Weight Loss Resistance.

HOW CAN YOU PREVENT PUTTING ON WEIGHT AT CHRISTMAS?

The good news is, Christmas weight gain is not inevitable. You can still enjoy the festivities (including the odd mince pie) and avoid gaining weight. Here are some practical tips we have put together to help you: 10 Simple Ways To Prevent Festive Weight Gain

It’s easy to go into Christmas thinking ‘I’ll deal with it in January’. But wouldn’t it be nicer to head into the New Year feeling good about yourself? Ahead of the curve, already making positive steps towards better health and a weight you’re happy at? There is no rule to say that embarking on a weight loss journey is pointless in December.

As a team of weight loss nutritionists, we support our clients in making plans to navigate Christmas so that they enjoy the celebrations without overdoing it. We can share our healthy festive recipes and tips with you. We can support you in establishing healthy habits ready for 2024. We can help you enjoy Christmas in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling bloated and guilty about overindulging.

If you’d like to do Christmas differently this year, get in touch. You can click this link to book a complimentary call with one of our experts who can talk through your challenges with you. Together you can decide whether one of our Intelligent Weight Loss Programmes is right for you.



SARAH LAW

Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.
Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.

 

Sarah May specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah May loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.

 

To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.

AILSA HICHENS

 

Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.

 

Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.

 

Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.

 

To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

NIKKI ANDRIANI

 

Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.

 

Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.

 

A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

STÉPHANIE ACHAR

Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.

 

Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

 

To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.

INNA WEARN

Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.

 

Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.

 

Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!

 

To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.

ANIA MASON

 

Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.

 

After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.

 

Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 

 

To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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