Why do we gain weight on holidays?


Sunday, December 24, 2017

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THE huge fear during the Christmas holiday is weight gain.

Even though Intekai Academy (ITK) provides assignments and coaching, even into the holiday period, it is still a struggle for their members who are actively working on living a healthier lifestyle. To understand how to navigate holiday eating, you will first have to be aware of the forces in play, so let us examine why we gain weight during the holiday.

It is important to remember that the holiday season is upon us and in the midst of all the celebrations, you never want to lose sight of what is most important — your wellness. It is essential that you develop lifelong habits which will build your solid healthy future. Every choice you make will either control those habits or make the habits stronger.

Damaged planning and routines

You may have several office and family occasions which will take you off your regular ITK schedule, making it difficult to stick to an eating plan every day.

Social and peer pressure

If you are going home to an organised diet-friendly kitchen, the chances of overdoing extra calories are slim. However, during the holidays friends and family may likely invite you to spend time with them, or visit you, bringing all kinds of holiday “goodies” with them. Once your group is all together and have begun encouraging you to just try this or telling you a little of that can't hurt you, your resolve will take a blow where it hurts.

Holiday anxieties

If you have them, you know what I mean. If you don't, then skip ahead. Many of us have so many childhood and adult anxieties around and about the holidays. It has been well researched and found that for reasons ranging from additional expenses to feelings of loneliness, there are significant increases in stress levels, sadness and general anxiety for many people.

If you didn't know before, I have to tell you that there is a definite connection between stress and overeating, as well as stress and resistance to fat loss, even when eating perfectly.

Habitual emotional triggers

The holidays for many are a time to celebrate, relaxing and enjoying your own company and the company of others. This outlook most often comes bundled with the idea of eat, drink and be merry. This is a major issue as addiction is triggered by familiar circumstances, places and people.

One, two or all three of these triggers can come bundled with a nice, deceptive bow on top during the holidays.

Snowball effect

Sadly, by design, with any addiction a little of this or a little of that will often trigger a reaction which, simply put, will sound like, “Well, I have already eaten so badly I may as well enjoy myself and make up for it in the future”, only to find out the future you is nose deep in your old habits again and is now, on top of everything else, heavier than before.

You can see where the challenges are, but at all times you must remember: wellness must never take a break. So stay vigilant and stay on track. Never think of extra calorie days as cheat days. Include them in your plan, inform your ITK coach, and use management skills to ensure that you maintain your wellness lifestyle.

Fitz-George Rattray is the CEO of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you're still not sure how to approach eating healthy during the holidays, give us a call at 968-8238 or email




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