Self-weighing, self-awareness may prevent holiday weight gain

[Reuters Health, 12/12/18] A brief program that encouraged people to track their weight and to be mindful of the excess energy in every holiday cookie or cup of nog seems to have helped participants get through the holiday season without gaining weight.

The trial in the UK recruited participants in November and December of 2016 and 2017, and followed up with them about 45 days later. Those assigned to the weight-gain prevention program ended up losing 0.13 kg (about one third of a pound), on average, while the control group gained 0.37 kg (nearly a pound), the study team reported December 10 online in The BMJ.

“On Christmas Day alone, someone might consume 6,000 calories, or three times the recommended daily allowance,” said a coauthor of the study, Amanda Farley of the University of Birmingham.

“We were unsure how well the public would respond to the idea of controlling their food and drink over Christmas,” Farley told Reuters Health by email. “But we found that participants were very motivated.”

Past research has found that holiday periods are often when people put on extra pounds, but they don’t tend to lose that weight after the holidays are over. Since even a holiday weight gain of just a pound or two each year will add up over a decade, the study team wanted to explore tactics to help prevent putting on weight in the first place………….

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