Not too long ago, some fellow dietetic internsÂ and I created a presentation for one of our classes where we reported onÂ research findings about how college students tend to gain weight over the 6- to 8-week span of the winter holiday season (Thanksgiving through the New Year).
Interestingly, the study participants weren’t “traditional” college students, i.e., 18- to 22-year-olds.Â In fact, the age span includedÂ grad students, some well into their 30s.
The studyÂ showed that,Â as seasons change and colder weather approaches, students are more likely to change their food, mood, and physical activity for the worse. Indulgences over the holiday season can cause a significant increase in the percentage of body fat and fat mass, leavingÂ students vulnerable to obesity development from those unhealthful holidayÂ habits that may carry on further into their adulthood and passed onto their children or other family members.
Increases in body fat areÂ a major factor in morbidity and mortality which is why it is important to strategize ways to maintain healthful eating and other lifestyle habits, especially during the holiday season.
I’ve shamelessly plugged this blog post for over aÂ year, but it’s got aÂ really good game planÂ about how to handle the urge to overindulgeÂ during the holidays. The important thing to keep in mind is that you are in control over what and how much you eat, and how much you get up off your couch and go play outside. It’s always easy to say that your splurge is temporary and you’ll go back to better habits “tomorrow,” but, there’s a realÂ potential to turn that temporary splurge into a 6-week binge and, before you know it, you’re feeling groggy, gross, and regretful for the long haul. So, check yourself before you wreck yourself this holiday season and any time temptation rears its ugly head.