The reality is that holiday foods are calorically dense. In other words, a small portion has a significant number of calories. To expect to burn off these extra calories through exercise is wishful thinking. Why? Because seasonal goodies have far more calories than is possible to burn off doing a realistic amount of exercise. What compounds the problem is that holiday indulgence occurs almost daily from Thanksgiving through the end of the year.
A weight gain of 2 pounds over the holidays might not sound so bad, but this annual weight creep over the course of many years can result in a significant number of pounds that end up a real challenge to get off. Holiday weight gain might contribute more to the obesity epidemic than we realize.
The bottom line is that moderation during the holidays is a must when challenged with foods laden with fat and sugar and, therefore, calories. Exercise during this time of year remains important, but it cannot be relied upon to burn all the calories consumed when mindlessly eating holiday foods.
Food is a huge part of the holiday season and should be enjoyed, but in quantities that will not result in the weight creep over the years that will compromise health and quality of life.
CONCI dietitians can help you better understand which holiday foods are especially high in calories and how to either exercise portion control or substitute alternative foods.