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Weight Loss During Christmas: Simple Tips Help
Cookies, festive roast, punch and mulled wine: In the Christmas season, there is usually more feasting than usual. The consequences of gluttony can often be seen quickly on the scales. Despite the feast at Christmas, weight gain can be avoided. With some tips from British scientists, it is even easy to lose weight during the holidays.
We are thickest in winter
Mulled wine, cookies, eggnog, gingerbread: during the Christmas season there are some foods that can be quickly noticed on the scales. A study by American scientists from Cornell University also showed that we are the fattest in winter. The researchers analyzed how holidays in Germany, the United States, and Japan affect weight gain. "In all three countries, the weight of participants increased within 10 days of Christmas," the authors reported at the time in the "New England Journal of Medicine". But that wouldn't have to be if you followed ten tips that British researchers recommended to participants in a recently published study.
How not to gain weight at Christmas time
A study by scientists from the British universities of Birmingham and Loughborough has shown that some simple tips can help prevent weight gain during the Christmas season.
According to the study published in the medical journal "The BMJ", the tricks can even help you lose a little weight.
For the study, which was called the "Winter Weight Watch Study", 272 subjects were randomly included in either an "intervention group" or a "comparison group".
Intervention group participants were asked to weigh themselves at least twice a week, ideally every day, and to record their weight to help them monitor food and drink intake.
They also got ten weight loss tips and a list of how much physical activity would be required to burn the calories found in popular Christmas foods and drinks.
For example, according to a press release from the universities, you have to walk 33 minutes to consume the calories from a small glass of mulled wine.
In contrast, the comparison group received only a short information sheet on leading a healthy lifestyle that did not include nutritional advice.
Ten tips for weight management
In a contribution from the "BBC" the ten tips for weight management are revealed:
- Try to eat at around the same time each day
- Choose low-fat food if possible
- Walk 10,000 steps every day
- Pack a healthy snack - choose fresh fruit or low-calorie yogurt
- Check foods for hidden sugars and fats
- Do not put too large portions on the plate (except vegetables)
- Get up for ten minutes every hour
- Drink water or low-calorie drinks like fruit juice. Alcohol should be restricted
- Concentrate on your food. Do not eat on the go or in front of the TV
- Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day
Study participants even lost weight
The study was carried out in 2016 and 2017. The participants were weighed and measured each year in November and December and then follow-up measurements were carried out in January and February 2017 and 2018.
The results showed that the subjects in the comparison group gained an average of 0.37 kilograms, while the others even lost some weight - on average 0.13 kilograms.
The difference was only a pound, but the researchers had not checked whether the participants had followed all the tips.
6,000 calories a day
Christmas time and the holidays "offer the opportunity for excessive consumption and lack of exercise," said lead author Frances Mason of the University of Birmingham's Institute of Applied Health Research.
Given the many temptations in December, even the most disciplined people find it difficult to hold back on calorie intake.
"On Christmas Day alone, one person can consume 6,000 calories - three times the recommended daily dose," said the expert.
"Low intensity measures, such as those used in our Winter Weight Watch study, should be considered by health policy makers to prevent weight gain in the population during high-risk periods such as vacation."
A kilo heavier every year
"On average, people gain up to a kilo each year, and holidays like Christmas are responsible for most of this weight gain," said lead study author Professor Amanda Daley of the University of Loughborough.
Although an increase of one kilogram is not much in itself, the increase would be significant over ten years.
"Our research has shown that a short Christmas intervention can help prevent the small weight gains that accumulate and that drive the obesity epidemic," said Daley. (ad)