This Is When You’re At Your Skinniest

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If you’ve looked in the mirror lately and thought to yourself, “I’m looking pretty good right now,” you’re actually onto something. In a recent report by the New York Times citing research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, come early to mid-October, you are likely at the lowest weight you will be all year. The reason? You’re about to start gaining holiday weight soon, and you’ve just finished shedding last year’s unwanted pounds.

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The study—it included people from the U.S., Japan and Germany—shows that up to half of holiday weight gain is lost shortly after the holidays, but half the weight gain appears to remain until the summer months or beyond.

Of course regular exercise will help you avoid falling in a post-holiday slump, but it’s scary to think those Christmas cookie pounds could take up to five months or longer to come off. Luckily, there are ways to manage your consumption throughout the next few months.

“Ultimately we all need to identify who we are as individuals so we can be successful during this time,” says Jen Widerstrom, health and fitness expert and winning coach on the Biggest Loser. “Knowing your tendencies and triggers during the holiday season is critical so you can anticipate and navigate through eating patterns that are in healthy. If you are someone who likes to try all kinds of treats, set a plan to limit yourself to one or two and leave some on the plate. If you know you have trouble with volume control, make sure you have enough quality meals during the day (along with enough water), so that when you go to parties and events, you don’t go starving and overeat.” 

The bottom line, according to Widerstrom: “Be honest with yourself at the dinner table and during this very hectic time. Stay in the driver’s seat and that weight gain will be much less, if any at all.” 

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