Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Flab

Cue ominous music.  It's coming.  You know it's coming and there's nothing you can do to stop it.  Holiday eating!  Plates of cream puffs and cookies are wending their way to your house.  There may even be a few peppermint martinis out there as well.  Who can resist Grandma's turkey or a pile of rich chocolate coins?  You can't hide, and your rear end is going to pay the price.

According to several sources, the average person gains one to two pounds between Halloween and New Year.  For many people this is the only extra weight they gain all year.  It doesn't sound like much, but if you never get that weight off, and you gain a little more every year, it really adds up.  Might this be the real source of the dreaded "middle-aged spread?"

We can and should try to limit our indulgences, but it can be REALLY tough to say "no" to a meal or a cookie made by loved ones.  Heck it can be hard to say "no" to a sleeve of bad grocery store cookies at this time of year!  Thus we must plan to push the exercise to help make up for the extra calories.  Two pounds is 7000 calories.  We must make it our firm goal to burn at least this much extra during the months of November and December.

Half an hour of brisk (or better yet, uphill) walking burns about 130-160 calories (on average of course).   This means we need about fifty walks to burn our extra load.  That may sound like a lot, but when you consider that there are sixty-one days in this season, it's really not so hard.  Of course you can replace some daily walks with gym workouts or hikes, but the point is to (roughly at least) count it out. 

Some would laugh and/or groan at this level of calorie counting, but I think it makes us mindful of what we are actually consuming.  Instead of mindlessly eating mashed potatoes all day, we can stop to think of how much time in the gym they equal.  Moderation in all things leads to happy holidays and skinnier waistlines!  That's my plan anyway, so please help me stick to it.  Hike anyone?

No comments: