By Sara Heiden
Winter break is a time for gathering with loved ones, receiving mounds of presents and, of course, eating food. However, the holidays become considerably less merry once the traditional high caloric intake turns into the inevitable weight gain.
According to The New York Times and The New England Journal of Medicine, the average weight gain over the winter holidays is one pound. This does not sound like much, except that the average adult gains one to two pounds per year. This means that 50 to 100 percent of the typical annual weight gain comes from those delicious holiday treats.
“The holidays are the worst time to keep healthy…so I usually end up eating whatever,” said junior Hannah Greaney. “There’s always so much food around during the holidays especially cookies and other desserts.”
Holiday Survival Strategies
“Holidays can be tough to stay healthy, but I always try to choose the healthier options like salads…and I try to eat smaller portions that fill me up but keep me from eating too much,” said sophomore Lauren McMorrow. “I also exercise when I can to stay on track for cheerleading,” said sophomore Lauren McMorrow.
While conventional wisdom says that the holidays are the worst time to start a diet, using a respected diet program as a guideline for eating can lead to better food choices.
Weight Watchers, which has been rated the number-one weight-loss program by U.S News and World Report, offers specific advice on how to enjoy traditional holiday foods without necessarily putting on unwanted pounds.
“I was so against Weight Watchers at first because I thought I would never be able to splurge over the holidays,” said senior Donna Amore. “But now I have learned that nearly everything can be eaten, even apple pie, just not a lot of it. Better yet, make it apple crisp.”
Perhaps the best strategy for surviving the holidays involves using some common sense. “Stay hydrated, spread out meals, don’t binge, don’t sleep too much or too little and have fun,” said nutrition teacher David Kessel.