Enjoy the holidays, avoid the weight gain

There is a chill in the air. The leaves are beginning to change and the first semester is coming to an end. This can only mean one thing: The...

There is a chill in the air. The leaves are beginning to change and the first semester is coming to an end. This can only mean one thing: The holiday season is upon us.

In the holiday season I definitely have food on the brain, and I am not the only one. But something else I have on my mind is the worry of that supposed stubborn weight gain many of us experience this time of year.

Don’t worry though, this extra poundage all of us stress over is thought to be a seasonal urban legend.

The New York Times and Fox News put out articles on this topic with similar facts. A common misconception is that people gain anywhere from five to 10 pounds over the holidays, when in reality, the average weight gain is only one to two pounds.

If you are still concerned about gaining weight, it is important to assess the main reasons weight is gained and then try avoid to it.

The first thing to be aware of is the red devil on your shoulder saying, “Eat it, we will just work it off tomorrow.” Don’t listen to him, you will just end up having food remorse. And, you probably won’t end up working out the next day either.

Next, do not get sucked into food peer pressure. We all think that if everyone else is doing it, then it is okay for us to do it. Be aware of your surroundings. If your friend grabs that cookie, then you grab the carrot stick. Fight the pressure.

We all tend to break our usual routines over the holidays. Maybe there isn’t a gym readily available to you like there is here at school, or you are traveling a lot and do not always have control of what you eat. Although this is harder to keep up with, don’t be afraid to do some squats and situps before bed or choose the salad instead of the burger.

One of the hardest things for me to pass up during the holidays are those family traditions that I hold so near and dear to my heart. That special secret recipe pie that mom makes and baking cookies for Santa which I always end up eating. These are special things I have been doing since I was a kid and give me the warm fuzzies inside.

This may sound sad to give up, but there are ways to enjoy these fun holiday traditions without breaking the scale. It is okay to eat some of the good stuff, just splurge in moderation. Have one cookie instead of two, eat one piece of pie for dessert on Christmas and avoid eating the rest of it the next day.

Gaining only one or two pound isn’t that bad. But if you want to try and avoid the extra poundage altogether, then be strong and keep on track. This way you can still enjoy the holidays, and most importantly, you will feel victorious when you step on the scale in January. 

Merrill, a sophomore journalism major from Chapel Hill, is an opinion writer. 

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