The average adult can expect to gain between 1-2 pounds during the 6 week holiday season between the week of Thanksgiving and January 1st. According to a National Institute of Health news alert, most of that weight (0.8 pounds) is gained “during the 6-week interval between Thanksgiving and News Years”.
This holiday weight gain can exceed 5 pounds for someone who is already overweight. If this additional holiday weight gain is not lost by the spring season, chances are that at least 50% will never be lost. Researchers in the NICHD study not only found that most adults do not lose all of the holiday weight gain but, “overweight and obese volunteers were more likely to gain five pounds than were those who were not overweight, which suggests that the holiday season may present special risks for those who are already overweight.”
The holiday weight gain is a result of a positive calorie balance (more calories being consumed than used). A weight gain of 2 pounds can be the result of a positive calorie balance averaging as little as 167 additional calories/day over the 6 week holiday season.
If you cannot resist eating all of the holiday goodies, you can at least burn off some of the holiday calories before it is too late by increasing physical activity.
Increasing activity over the same 6 weeks by as little as 20 minutes/day can burn a sufficient amount of calories to prevent an average holiday weight gain of 2 pounds.
Here are 10 exercises where a 170 lb. person or a 135 lb. person can burn off approximately 167 calories:
1. walk a dog or “mall walk”: 38 minutes for the 170 lb. person and 47 minutes for the 135 lb. person
2. Tai Chi: 33 and 42 minutes respectively
3. leisure swimming: 22 and 28 minutes respectively
4. moderate weight lifting: 44 and 54 minutes
5. running at 5 miles/hour on a treadmill: 17 and 21 minutes respectively
6. general dancing: 29 and 37 minutes respectively
7. low impact aerobics: 26 and 33 minutes respectively
8. light stationary bike riding at 10-12 mph: 21 and 28 minutes respectively
9. moderate house cleaning: 38 and 47 minutes respectively
10. darts, inside wall or outside lawn: 52 and 65 minutes respectively
These are estimates based on average heights and do not take into account gender or age. If you want to discover how many exercise calories you can burn, here are 2 on line calculators to try:
http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc (takes into account, age, gender, height and weight)
http://www.changingshape.com/calculators/calories-burned/ (basic calculator).
Different on line calculators use different formulas, so expect variations when using different resources. Calculators are a good way to comparing one exercise with another to determine which ones yield the greatest total calorie burning potential.
This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical/nutritional/fitness advice. Information presented is subject to change as additional discoveries are made or additional research is published. Links to various sites within blogs are provided for your convenience only and we are not responsible or liable for the content, accuracy of information provided or privacy practices of linked sites or for products or services described on these sites.
Sources: http://www.b3nutrition.com, http://www.b3nutrition.com, http://www.aspire2wellness.com, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=11206847&ordinalpos=15&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum, http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/calories-burned-sub/?ordersrc=bingsearch68450Calories-Burned, http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc, http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc, http://www.changingshape.com/calculators/calories-burned/