Let us tell you a ghost story. You wake up the morning after your New Year's celebration to a sinking feeling that something’s off. Gingerly, you tiptoe to the bathroom, placing each foot as gently as you can on the scale in the corner. With a feeling of dread, you glance down at the number to find…it’s 10 pounds heavier than when the holiday season began. You scream in terror.
That’s what most of us imagine--and dread--happening after a holiday season filled with feasts and festive desserts. But, just like with other ghost stories, you actually have nothing to fear.
The average amount of weight gain most people will see from the holidays is one completely harmless pound, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Although the study only looked at 200 people, the mean weight gain between Thanksgiving and Christmas was only around 0.48 kilogram or roughly one pound, with most individual subjects seeing no more than one kilogram (or 2.2 pounds) added to their frame.
In fact, the weight of participants who did not report dieting throughout the holiday season changed no more than those watching the scale. So, though this is by no means an invitation to go for round three of dessert, we can all breathe a little easier, enjoy seasonal sweets a little bit more, and enter the New Year without the anxiety of years past.
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