Why do we eat more and gain more weight at Christmas

Most adults between the age of 18-49 gain 1-2 pounds of weight a year. Over the course of a year people gain weight and loose weight, however during the ‘holiday’ season an adult will averagely gain 1 pound. So why do we eat more and gain more weight at Christmas?


1.Social Pressure

  • Everyone feels they can relax with their eating habits in the holidays influencing everyone else to feel they should ‘relax’
  • The trick is to indulge a little but don’t allow every meal for the whole of december to be ‘relaxed’, moderation is key.

    2. More Social Occasions

  • Other people influence how we eat as it provides a ‘norm’ for appropriate behaviour
  • We eat more in a group than we would alone
  • Quite simply there’s way more parties and lots more events to go to, there will be food, drink and it probably won’t be healthy
  • Again try picking the healthier options at events, watch your drink and again exercise moderation 

    3.See it, Eat it

  • A time where the buffets are out and theres always a plate of snacks on offer
  • Buffets cause us to overeat, overeating releases opitates which block the pain of overeating so you can continue to eat and the overconsumption continues
  • Think of it like this, if it wasnt there would you eat it? are you actually hungry?

    4.‘Tradition’ and emotional attachment

  • If Grandma makes mince pies you eat them, simple as that, but these emotional pressures can escalate and soon you’ve eaten Grandmas whole chocolate cake
  • Traditions, yes when you were younger you may have eaten a whole terry chocolate orange before breakfast but it doesn’t mean you have to keep that Tradition… 

    5.Loss of routine

  • With time off work you probably don’t make good quality pack lunches that your used to
  • Increased stress from rushing around sorting Christmas presents and Christmas day leaves you nibbling at the biscuit tin
  • More time travelling means your in less control of your food and your exercise regime is thrown off
  • Don’t give yourself such a hard time, try to limit your stress and get organised early. Get the family involved in winter walks and outdoor activities to keep you all active over the holidays.

Average weight gain:

Social influences on eating:

Buffet Brain:

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