In the last few years I have repeated a cycle of weight gain at the holidays and weight loss the few months following. I really enjoy food and there are so many holiday treats that I wait all year to make. Thanksgiving dinner alone is my favorite meal, and now thanks to a group of friends who celebrate “Practice Thanksgiving” the weekend before, I get to enjoy it twice a year. So with all the bread, potatoes, cookies, etc. I tend to get a little chubby by the end of the year. Luckily this weight gain is followed by some weight loss in January and February. For some reason this is the easiest time for me to lose weight. Maybe it’s the cold temperatures and I burn more calories creating heat. Or maybe I don’t have as much activity (social and physical) and so it’s easier to resist food. By the time spring comes around and I increase my exercise, I don’t really lose more weight.
A friend of mine who is a biologist recently described to me the natural cycle of the human body is to put on weight in the fall, when fruits and produce is harvested, and then lose weight in the winter months when food production is more scarce. This has likely been developed throughout centuries of evolution. The natural cycle of weight gain likely is a root cause to having so many traditions in the fall associated with food.
So I can embrace this cycle and enjoy my favorite food traditions, as long as I keep a balance with healthy habits following the holidays.