The seasonal change and holidays are probably the best time of the year for most people. Who does not love the fairy lights, Christmas decorations, and of course, the food! It is the time where you get to eat like no one’s watching along with your friends and family.
But what about weight and staying healthy? Let’s face it, no one really cares about putting on pounds or the number of calories during the most wonderful time of the year. After all, this small period of time is solely for enjoyment, right?
According to the statistics, a person gains an average of 0.4-1 kg every year. Around 50% of this actually occurs during the Christmas and new year’s holidays.
While it is fine to cheat and taste a little bit of the caramel pudding, it just may not be a good idea to ignore your fitness routine completely.
Further research has also proven that weight gained during this time is hard to lose for the majority of people. This weight later adds up and may cause obesity later on.
A common complaint by people is that not giving in to the temptation is really hard and finding time for exercise or gym in between dinners a well as work is even more difficult. But what if you could control your weight with diet only? A team of researchers has focused on whether this is possible.
Why Watch Weight In Holidays?
Weight gain is most common during the holiday season. A group of researchers thinks controlling weight during this particular time can be the key to avoid obesity in the future.
Obesity is a huge problem in the United States. Studies have shown that it can be hard to control and reverse even with permanent changes in the lifestyle. So, it is better if you are able to avoid it in the first place.
The findings of this recent study, known as the Winter Watch study, were published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Read the research here.
It was done by researchers from the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research and the School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.
The main objective of the study was to find out that whether controlling food intake at this specific time would make a significant difference. To find the answer to this question, the trial started before Christmas 2016 and 2017.
How Was the Study Conducted?
The team recruited around 272 people, 78% of which were women. The participants had their weight measured at the start of November and follow up checks were done at the beginning of the new year in January.
These participants were first divided into 2 groups – the intervention group and the control group. The former had to weigh themselves twice or more in a week.
The researchers explained that regular weight checks are an effective behavioral intervention and that they may make a person more conscious about their weight.
In addition, the intervention group participants were also given information about healthy foods and the amount of exercise needed to burn off one holiday treat along with other tips on weight management. The control group only had a small booklet on living more healthy.
What Were the Results?
The researchers observed that the intervention group gained less weight in comparison with the control group. Secondly, they were also seen to be far more conscious and restrictive with their diets than those in the control group.
Although the researchers agreed on trivial shortcomings such as the groups being too smaller and the follow-up period also being relatively short, they found the results to be promising.
Following such as routine and being more conscious, as the study shows, may also help in people adopting a healthier lifestyle and avoiding obesity in the future.