Why you should avoid holiday treason!
Hello, my friends! I hope you are treating life well, and I hope that it is reciprocating. So, here we are smack dab in the holiday season again! So many treats to eat, so many parties to attend, and so much food to oxidize! In this week’s post, I want to share 5 logical reasons why you should tone down the traditional holiday gluttony even while your family and friends indulge themselves in the vast food orgy.
But before we begin, here is the caveat: I am not suggesting that you abstain from an occasional treat or from Christmas Eve Dinner. I think you can and should let your hair down for such occasions. What I am emphatically opposed to is the predominant mindset that the holidays are a free-for-all that exonerates us from any and all consequences. A healthy balance between the good and the bad is possible and should be sought after, so, without further elaboration, let’s get to the top 5 reasons!
1-Weight Gain For “Normal Weighted People”
Let’s address the elephant in the room first. To begin, I want to dispel a prevalent myth that has been around for years. Despite the cultural myths, the average American only gains ONE pound of weight from Thanksgiving to New Years Day based on several recent studies. This is the good news.
Here is the bad. The average American does NOT take that pound of weight off the next year and continues to add to it despite the New Year’s Resolution to exercise more. The cumulative effect of this over the years can be disastrous not only to your mid-line but to your overall health as well.
2-Weight Gain for the Currently Overweight/Obese
Studies have also shown that those who are overweight and/or obese are likely to gain more weight than their normal weighted counterparts. Most studies cite 5 or more lbs. for this subgroup. The consequences are plain and obvious and should be avoided in all cases. I know that there is no “fairness” attached with this physiological fact, but the good news is that applying this knowledge is certainly powerful!
3-We Exercise Less
I have been a personal trainer for 15 years now, and I can personally attest to this fact as my gyms look like a ghost town in December. Despite all of our good intentions, we simply have a hard time finding the time to work out and make exercise a priority with the rush of parties, social gatherings, and the demands of everyday life stacked on top. This certainly does not mix well with the fact that our mouths are opened wide for the continual “in-coming load.”
Numerous surveys and studies have indicated that indulging for the holidays takes a certain toll on your psychological health. Remember that we store 96-98% of our habits SUBCONSCIOUSLY! This is important for the sole reason that when you are pounding sugary and great tasting food day in, and day out, you are creating and embedding habits in your subconscious mind. The news gets worse when you consider that habits operating at the subconscious level die hard! In other words, you will have to replace those habits with news ones, which takes a conscious effort over time.
The bottom line is this: When you indulge for the holiday season, you are essentially programming your mind to accept your behavior as normal. When it comes time for your New Year’s Resolution, your habit is going to die hard, even if you start hard! You know what I mean: you start out jazzed, motivated, and inspired, only to find yourself back to your old ways within a week or two. Better just to avoid this pitfall in the first place!
5-Bad Health, Low Energy, and Funky Hormones!
When you eat a lot of sugar, you pump a lot of insulin through your veins. When you pump a lot of insulin through your veins, you STORE a lot of calories as glycogen or fat. The more you eat, the more you store. This contributes not only to weight gain, but also spiking and falling blood sugar levels that cause all sorts of funky energy spikes and plummets.
Another fun byproduct is tilting your hormones out of balance. This is primarily accomplished through tipping your insulin out of balance, which, in turn, trips other hormones out of balance that are responsible for mood, well being and overall quality of life. This does not sound like a fun recipe to me!
Well, there you have it, my friends! I wish you all health and happy holidays!