Eat Less = Lose Weight? Not Always

We’re nearing the end of the most celebrated food holidays of the year – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve – which means there’s a high probability that you’ve overeaten and feel guilty.

Keeping a svelte physique should be easy, right? Eat less fatty foods. Eat more veggies. Lose weight and continue weight management.

As we all know, losing weight and keeping it off isn’t easy.

“On a very simple level, your weight depends on the number of calories you consume, how many of those calories you store, and how many you burn up,” explains a publication from Harvard Medical School. “But each of these factors is influenced by a combination of genes and environment.”

In other words, the most basic equation to understand weight gain is that people gain weight when they consume more calories than they burn — those extra calories get stored as fat. But scientists have found many connections between someone’s risk of weight gain and a wide variety of other factors, including his or her genetic makeup, diet in infancy and childhood, sleep habits, stress levels and gut bacteria. The same factors that also affect adult and childhood obesity.

In the past decade, there has been an onslaught of studies suggesting that the calories-in/calories-out theory of weight gain is an oversimplification.

Although eating more vegetables and fruit combined with lessening your intake of mayonnaise and heavy, oily foods is a great start to eating a healthier diet, it isn’t enough for a majority of people.

  • Before you hit the New Year’s Eve buffet, fill up on nuts. This will help curb your appetite and you’ll be less tempted by the bowls of potato chips or fried hors d’oeuvres.
  • Also, opt for grilled or baked salmon instead of prime rib as your main course.
  • Don’t deny yourself dessert! Christmas and Hanukkah come just once a year. Sample the leftover Holiday cookies, but try not to eat a whole dozen of gingerbread men.

Were you busy this Holiday season shopping, wrapping and cooking? Absolutely.  Does this give you a reprieve from working out? No. If you want to maintain your energy level, receive a good night’s rest and stave off coughs and colds, you need to make time for fitness – for your health and your kids’ health.

Now is probably not the best time to start a diet.  Instead, try to maintain your current weight and make a promise to lose any extra pounds after the Holidays by visiting your personal trainer or taking athletic training classes.  Or, if you know a child or young adult with special needs who needs fitness motivation, suggest our ZamDance class on Friday nights from 5pm – 6pm.  Our Friday night ZamDance class allows participants to express themselves through dance in a way that builds confidence, creates empowerment and unites a community that accepts them as they are – while in a glow-in-the-dark environment.

Happy holiday eating!