The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and this is typically the time of year that people put their health and good nutrition on the backburner. Often, people go into the holiday season thinking that they will enjoy the holidays, indulge in the seasonal foods and then go on a diet in January to take off the weight they gained. However, this plan often backfires. The following are a few reasons not to wait until January first:
- According to statistics, the average person never losses the weight they put on during the holiday season.
- It is much easier to prevent weight gain than it is to shed the added pounds. For every pound you put on, you need to create a 3,500 calorie deficit over time to lose it. If you try to do that with exercise alone, a 150-pound person would have to walk or run 35 miles!
- Once you create a fat cell, you can never lose it. Fat cells shrink, but they never decrease in number. Once your fat cells get filled up to a maximum level, your body creates new cells to store fat. However, when you lose weight, they only decrease in size, not number. There are theories that once a fat cell is created, it always wants to be filled up.
- Get the maximum out of your insurance benefits. Many plans cover a specific number of nutrition counseling sessions per calendar year with a dietitian. If you do not use the sessions this year, you lose them.
- You can still enjoy your favorite foods during the holidays. A healthy eating plan does not mean you have to give up stuffing at Thanksgiving or your favorite holiday cookies. Rather, it is learning how to balance them into a healthy lifestyle. Proper nutrition is not about being perfect, it is about making small incremental improvements.
With a little focus, it is very possible to maintain weight or even lose a few pounds this holiday season, which will give you a head start for 2012.