Don’t Become a Holiday Statistic

On average, people across the United States gain seven pounds over the course of the holiday season, and it’s not over night. In the grand scheme of things, no, seven pounds is not the end of the world. The problem arises when the weight gain is neglected, and it continues. The weight gain starts gradual, perhaps stagnating a few times, until finally you step on the scale January first and wonder what happened.

For those who have been on a weight loss journey, this is especially concerning. However, there are things you can do to combat the weight gain, still enjoy the holiday season, and not become a holiday statistic. Namely, the 50% Rule.

Why weight gain happens

The holiday season is some of the busiest months of the year. Between present shopping, holiday parties, and visiting with family, many feel like they don’t have time to exercise. Then, at these holiday events, people go one of two ways: all or nothing. Some tell themselves they won’t indulge in any desserts or drinks, while others use the holidays as a “last ditch” before going all out on their exercise and diet plans after the New Year.

A lot of the time, this goes wrong– if they do indulge in sweets when they specifically said they wouldn’t, they feel bad about themselves. If they go wild on food and drink, they often look at the scale discouraged.

What is the “50% Rule?”

Instead of focusing on one extreme or the other, split it down the middle with the 50% Rule, as suggested by personal trainer Stephanie Mansour. The 50% Rule is exactly what it sounds like: take your usual goals (exercise, food, or otherwise), and cut it by 50%.

Let’s say you usually exercise for an hour every day, but with the holidays, you feel like you don’t have time. Instead of an hour, exercise for 30 minutes. If you exercise more than that, then great! If you only get in your 30 minutes, then you can still be proud you hit your goal. If you find you eat around 10 cookies at holiday parties, set your limit to five instead– certainly enough to curb your sweet tooth, but not enough to make you feel sick. Using the 50% Rule for your food, drinking, and exercise habits will help you maintain your health instead of gaining weight.

What to do after the holiday season ends

Now that the fun of the season is over, the 50% Rule will allow you to return to your baseline exercise and diet without the struggle it would be had you given up on your goals completely. Chances are, you’ll be even less likely to fall of the wagon that is “new year, new me” weight loss halfway through the month of January like so many people do.

If you find you need to reassess your diet and exercise goals, you are not alone. Come to Advanced Weight Loss to learn more about our medically supervised weight loss program.

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