What It Really Takes to Work Off Those Holiday Calories

If you’re not completely convinced of the toll holiday eating takes on your waistline (and other body parts, for that matter), information from a yearlong study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine details the consequences.

American participants in the study packed on an additional 0.2 percent of their weight on Thanksgiving, an average weight gain of 0.4 percent during the period 10 days before Christmas to 10 days after, and a whopping 0.7 percent during the full Christmas-New Year holiday season. That’s the equivalent of a 200-pound man adding almost 3 pounds of body weight during the full holiday season.

While that may not seem like a huge weight gain to some people, what’s more worrisome is the study revealed it took participants much longer to shed the added pounds from holiday feasting than it took to gain them: Americans in the study sample group continued to gain weight until May and then grew thinner until late October, when the holiday treats begin again.

To help you control any urges to binge eat during the holiday season, here’s some eye-opening information about just how much exercise it takes to burn off those favorite celebratory foods.