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Is Holiday Weight Gain Actually A Terrible Myth?

holiday weight gain


Every year around mid-November, I’m shocked at how quickly Thanksgiving has crept up on us. As I fill my planner with holiday parties and bookmark cocktail recipes, I cringe as I imagine the massive sum of calories I will be consuming this season. However, according to recent studies, there are countless myths that cloud our judgment about this indulgent time of year. Let’s just say that this year, you may be reaching for that extra scoop of your mom’s famous mac ‘n’ cheese.

holiday weight gain food

Many of us believe that we pack on extra padding during the holiday season.  However, according to NutritionReview, Americans only add an extra .8 pounds to their waistline between November and January. Unfortunately, if you are already overweight then that number increases. Significant weight gain is based on your day-to-day diet, as opposed to your diet during the holidays.

If holiday weight gain doesn’t exist, then why do we feel over-stuffed (no pun intended) and bloated? Traditionally, dishes served during this time of year consist of carb-heavy foods that your body stores in muscle tissue as glycogen. In addition to the carbs, some of your favorites, like banana bread, are high in sodium, which stores excess fluids in your body. Luckily, if you don’t normally eat like this throughout the year, your body will drop the excess fluids as soon as you get back to your regular schedule.


Ultimately, you know your body and what it wants. If you remember feeling too full to get up and watch Babes in Toyland last year, then it might be wise to shy away from two extra helpings of apple pie. Instead of spending the day plotting your meal strategy, get in the kitchen! If you don’t help out already, then it can be helpful to see what ingredients you are consuming so you can modify your diet if necessary. Lastly, if you do happen to feel bloated, go for a walk after dinner or switch out the whiskey cocktails for water to avoid sugary drinks that make you sluggish. Most importantly, enjoy the holidays. As many of us dread this year’s Thanksgiving dinner political rampage, appreciate the food around you and the positive people in your life.