The ‘holiday period’ within the research is classed between last week of November to the second
week of January. They found for the most gained in this period was between 0.3kg – 0.9kg (1).
SURPRISE! Even some studies suggesting as low as 0.2kg around this period (2). Some individuals
within this period who were motivated to consistently self-monitor food intake in this time actually lost
In some more extreme cases, weight gain in obese individuals ranged from 6.1kg – 8.8kg over the
Christmas 2 week period (11). The maximum weight gained within the 2 week Christmas period in 26
English adults was 4.4kg (10). Though the studies in this period of the year aren’t very high quality &
not always looking at fat mass lost in this time frame only. A study with 120,000 Americans
participating in it, measured the average weight gained over a 4 year period. This came to on average
was 1.52kg gained over the Christmas period (12).
There was a frighteningly high weight gain from certain articles suggesting a 6000 calorie increase
from Christmas day from the UK (8) but is article suggests this is not to be an accurate representation
of the British general public
Some research has shown that 60% of people who engaged in a physical activity health mentorship
plan with the reduced calorie meals around this period actually maintained their weight (6). Mainly
obese and over weight people gained the most weight around the holiday period at around 5 pounds
more than non-overweight individuals (7). This could be to with poor health behaviour related habits.
Researchers suggest possible weight gain is down to more frequent exposures to family social
gatherings with high-energy dense foods & social events which have larger selections of foods with
more variety (3) and bigger portion sizes e.g. buffets (4) combined with less physical activity within the
winter period (4).
Applying the standard safe weight loss recommendations of losing 0.5kg – 1kg per week (9) can be
applied to the studies suggested weight gain of 0.2kg to 0.9kg around the holiday would take 1-2 to
lose. So wouldn’t take long to lose at all. However, totally depends on how much you eat relative to
your bodies energy needs. Either way, it is totally losable. In the mean time, here is your secret
weapon. I wrote up some tactics you could implement Christmas day & throughout the holiday period
for effective weight management enjoy.
Final closing tips for weight management over Christmas Day:
If you choose to minimise weight gain over the Christmas day, self-monitor your portion
Delay breakfast and have your Christmas dinner as your main meal for the day.
Strive not to eat until you’re completely full
Drink plenty of water to stay full
Eat plenty of vegetables. They’re super low in calories & the fibre will fill you up.
Eat deserts in moderation.
If want in easier way to reduce calories without tracking things, just limit your carbs &
dietary fats. Focus on Turkey, vegetables, gravy & possible a smaller desert.
Could alternatively have a lower calorie / alcohol free beer.
Could create an exercise buffer. This is where you do additional bout of exercise maybe
a couple of days before either in the form of weights or a cardio session to burn
additional calories in the week. This could potentially offset the calories consumed
Christmas day. This could be done the morning of Christmas (which I understand is a
little more extreme. I am not suggesting its necessary to do this) as a body weighted
circuit, or a long walk, jog or sprint.
Resume your normal exercise plan if you’re a gym goer as soon as possible. If you’re a
newbie, then begin as soon as you want to.
As you can see for the most part, the numbers aren’t as astronomically high as you might think. If you
want to limit your weight gain, self-monitor to small degrees, focus potentially on continuing your
exercise programme from boxing day onwards or if your newbie start when you feel ready. Do
whatever is best for you.
I will say this. Try to have fun. You don’t eat this much food in a normal day and for the most part you
will be able to reduce any weight accumulated within the 2-3 week Christmas – New year period.
Have fun & if need be, try out my tips to minimise any potential weight gain.
Enjoy the day!
Joshua Leo Stuart