Defying the Holiday “Hang Over”

Thanksgiving Feast

by Lori Ann

Katherine Tallmadge, nutrition and weight loss expert, and author of DIET SIMPLE, shows how to overcome “holiday overindulgence”

Here’s some rocket science: What happens when you go to three or four parties a week, and eat yourself silly at each one? You’ll make a good social impression, and an even bigger impression on the scale. Add that plus five weeks’ worth and you’ll have five extra pounds of holiday “hang over” your belt.

“For social butterflies, a weight gain of up to two to five pounds over the holidays is common,” says Tallmadge, a Washington, D.C. based weight-loss and nutrition consultant and author of DIET SIMPLE 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations (LifeLine Press, 2004).  And the studies confirm Tallmadge’s experience. (see studies below)

“Several social occasions per week often leave us with thousands more calories than we need,” says Tallmadge.

Tallmadge’s Diet Simple Program was recently hailed by Good Housekeeping Magazine as both nutritionally sound and easy to follow. Her program is simple: It allows you to make simple, individualized changes which fit into your life-style and personality. This way you lose weight without the pain and suffering of being on a depressing diet.

Tallmadge’s 20 years’ experience of helping thousands lose weight permanently has enabled her to develop a plan that retools the mind into eating in a whole new way. Here are a few of tips so you don’t end up feeling like a stuffed turkey by the time New Year’s rolls around:

* The 25 Percent Blowout: Never stay at home for the sake of worrying about your weight. If you are invited to four social gatherings for the week, go to all – but indulge at only one. You can allow yourself to splurge while still saving your waistline.

* Savor each bite: Particularly at parties, we tend to gulp food without even thinking about it. You start talking and before you know it, you’ve consumed everything on your plate. Be aware of what you are eating. Fifteen crackers plus the trimmings can be equal to one meal.

* Say no to food pushers by complimenting lavishly: Let’s face it. Your family and friends love you and want to show you they care through the food they serve you. But you have to be firm and use a positive approach (NEVER tell people you’re “on a diet” or “watching it”). Instead, try “That looks wonderful. Your meal was so delicious, I can’t make room for one more bite!”

* Write it and lose it! A major study showed that while people had trouble getting through the holidays without weight gain, the most successful at managing their weight monitored their eating (see studies below).

How can obese weight controllers minimize weight gain during the high risk holiday season? By self-monitoring very consistently.
Boutelle KN, Kirschenbaum DS, Baker RC, Mitchell ME.
Institute of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, Center for Behavioral Medicine, Chicago, USA.

This study examined the efficacy of augmenting standard weekly cognitive-behavioral treatment for obesity with a self-monitoring intervention during the high risk holiday season. As hypothesized, the intervention group self-monitored more consistently and managed their weight better than the comparison group during the holidays. However, both groups struggled with weight management throughout the holidays.

These findings support the critical role of self-monitoring in weight control and demonstrate the benefits of a low-cost intervention for assisting weight controllers during the holidays.

Holiday weight gain: fact or fiction?
Roberts SB, Mayer J.
Energy Metabolism Lab, USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.

On average, weight gain during the 6-week winter period from Thanksgiving through New Year averaged only 0.37 kg. However, weight gain was greater among individuals who were overweight or obese, and 14% gained >2.3 kg (5 lb). In addition, among the entire population, weight gain during the 6-week holiday season explained 51% of annual weight gain.

These results suggest that holiday weight gain may be an important contributor to the rising prevalence of obesity.

Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D.

Harper’s Bazaar called Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, “the best nutritionist in Washington, D.C.” Tallmadge is an American Dietetic Association Spokesperson, an advisor to, Shape Magazine, The National Enquirer, and more. She has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, NBC Nightly News and the Today Show, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Wolfe Blitzers News Programs, Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on Comedy Central, Fox News, National Public Radio and others. Tallmadge has also been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Post, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping Magazine, and Family Circle Magazine, among others.

To schedule an interview with Katherine Tallmadge, please contact Katherine at 202-833-0353

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