Odds are, we have overeaten.
So, what now?
If history is any judge, most of us will now segue into a syndrome known as “Holiday eating fugue.”
Holiday-eating-fugue syndrome, aka HEF, is characterized by the willful suspension of any recognition of the basic dietary law of the universe, which is: calories in taken must be balanced against calories expended.
When this law is not observed, weight gain ensues.
Some relevant facts:
Most people consume more than 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day.
The average 150-pound person burns approximately 325 calories in 90 minutes of shopping—a popular activity the day after Thanksgiving, which is what retailers refer to as Black Friday. This means that the average person would have to shop for dang-near the whole day on Black Friday, just to make up for the damage inflicted on Gobbler Thursday.
Historically, attendance at Weight Watchers meetings falls off at Thanksgiving, and doesn’t pick up again until after New Year’s Day. Whereupon, the membership drive becomes a Joining Jubilee.
The average American gains a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. (Actually, that’s good news. Most people assume that the average American gains more like eight pounds between the holidays.)
Gym memberships, which languish during the holidays, go into RRP mode (Rabid Renewal Period) post-January 1.
What to do?
Here are some things you can try to ward off the HEF blues:
· Put the one-day feast-fest into perspective. No matter how much you ate on Thanksgiving, it’s not going to impact your long-term weight journey—if you get right back on the healthy eating and exercise horse.
· Get physical. One of the major causes of weight gain during the holidays is lack of activity. Time is spent doing holiday errands, which makes us more tired, less motivated, and not wanting to stick to our routine.
· Don’t “diet.” Don’t launch an overly restrictive program during this period. Stick to your tried-and-true eating plan.
· Be choosy about your treats. Those siren sweets hang out on every rock during the holiday months. Go ahead, enjoy. But be selective! And don’t think the right approach is to replace your high fat, high calorie faves with lowfat substitutes. A teaspoon of real butter on a roll is more satisfying than a ton of fake buttercrap.
Whine of the week: The Biggest Loser loses Kae
Why, oh why did Kae get voted off The Biggest Loser?
In fact, while we’re fantasy-tweaking the show, let’s make the weekly “win” based on an overall health index that includes weight loss, fat loss, and the other major barometers of health improvement. That would vault The Biggest Loser into the next (and needed) level—a true reflection of the contestant’s overall health improvement. You could “reveal” a health index score each week, just as dramatically as the number on the scale.
Because after all, weight is just a number.
And what audiences really want is to see the true winners win. And that’s what Kae is, a winner.
From the feedback I’m reading, I think that The Biggest Loser is going to have to kick it up a notch in this manner to maintain its popularity with viewers.