October 18, 2018

[widgets_on_pages id=”” small=”1″ medium=”1″ large=”1″ wide=”1″]While the so-called “Santa Diet” (putting on 10 pounds over the Christmas period) has been shown to be somewhat exaggerated, scientific studies do suggest that on average 3.5 pounds is what most of us gain between Christmas and New Year.

While this may not sound like a lot, for most of us only half this weight is ever lost, meaning a decade of Christmases can have a huge impact on your waistline.

These are the 5 Big Things that cause weight gain at Christmas

  •  Stress:

Secret Santa gifts, the last minute rush for the must-have kiddie toy, or simply the pressure of clearing your workload

before the New Year all add to the extra stress most of us feel around the holiday period. Sadly when it comes to coping with

stress, the first thing many of us reach for is a snack. Whether it’s your favourite chocolate bar, fast food burger, packet of

crisps or gooey cake, overeating and stress seem to come hand in hand over the holiday period. This unhealthy friendship is

only made worse by the release of stress hormone Cortisol that promotes weight gain – especially belly fat.

  • Broken Routines:

    When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, getting into positive routines helps. Gym Monday, Wednesday, Friday, cooking for the week on Sunday, preparing healthy snacks first thing on Monday and taking time out to meditate can all be achieved if we stay in routine, even when they have to be fitted around the school run, morning meetings, afternoon clubs and late night events. So why does routine seem to fly out of the window the moment the first Advent Calendar is opened?

    Holiday visits, changes in office routines, Christmas parties at work, at school, with friends, with family, with the dog walking club, you name it, means something has to give and too often it’s the healthy routines.

  • Emotional Associations:

    So you have been good and spent December saying no to the box of chocolate that has done more loops of the office than the Mexican wave during the Olympics, but you simply can’t say no to Granny’s home made mince pies? Don’t worry; you are not alone. One of the toughest challenges most December dieters face is the emotional ties they have to certain foods, whether it’s Granny’s mince pies, Dad’s supersized Sunday roast or the box of special chocs you always share with loved ones while watching a Christmas movie.

  • Social pressure:
    Christmas is seen as a time to relax, kick back and enjoy all the things we have been so diligently staying away from the rest of the year. As a result there is often a lot of associated guilt, which is elevated if everyone is seen to be joining in. As a result, studies have shown we tend to eat more than the average, with office workers often matching the sugary intake of their colleagues fuelling the constant psychological cue to overeat.
  • The New Year Cop-out:

    How many of us have used the excuse, “I’ll hit the gym in the New Year”? According to reports this is one of the most popular resolutions every year, allowing us to stuff our face with our favourite sweets, biscuits, chocolates and cakes. Sadly while it will be top of the resolution list for many of us before Big Ben chimes in the New Year, far fewer will see it through.

About the Author Neil Owens

Neil is paasionate about helping people become fitter

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