According to research that was recently cited by The New York Times, there’s a pretty good chance that your body weight is close to its yearly low point right now. However, the researchers warn that their subjects tended to pack on extra weight in upcoming months, especially as the fall and winter holiday seasons get underway.
The research, published in September as a letter to the editor in The New England Journal of Medicine, looked at weight gain patterns of subjects in three countries: Germany, the United States and Japan. All three nations have traditions of seasonal holiday celebrations, including increased eating and drinking. The data was collected by monitoring wireless-enabled bathroom scales.
For subjects in the United States and Germany, bodyweight was highest around the New Year. In Japan, the peak was close to the Golden Week holiday in May. Americans were typically at their lowest weights in early October and they tended to carry the extra pounds gained during winter well into spring.
For runners, it’s important to keep in mind that some fluctuation in bodyweight over the course of a year is normal and even healthy—it’s not a good idea to try and stay at your lowest weight year-round. But a large increase in weight over the holidays, followed by frantic attempts to shed the excess pounds as racing season approaches, can disrupt training and be hard on the body. With that advice in mind, here are some strategies to consider as the holidays approach.
Keeping active through the holiday season requires a plan—and maybe a like-minded training partner, too. Follow Coach Mario Fraioli’s nine training tips for the holidays to keep your fitness flame burning.
Sports nutritionists Krista Austin and Nancy Clark suggest that there’s nothing wrong with holiday treats, so long as you make some simple modifications to the rest of your meals, as described in this useful guide.
If your best intentions fail to ward off unwanted holiday weight gains, consult this comprehensive article to help get back to fighting weight as soon as possible.
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