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Thanksgiving in Singapore. How to Balance Feasting, Weight Gain and Health

Updated: Apr 17

Thanksgiving Singapore

For some the festive (and feasting) season in Singapore commences from Divali in early November, to Thanksgiving and all the way through to the Chinese New Year. A relentless season of festivities, family, friends and, potentially, feasting related weight gain. Is there a way to find health and balance during the festive season?


Let's make things quite clear - feast days, celebrations of culture and life - have a purpose. They should be enjoyed! It's just that in a multi-cultural society such as Singapore - where we celebrate holidays from all over the world - we potentially face 2 to 3 months of less exercise and more calories than others might have to deal with. In one study the researchers found that even in cases where bodyweight remained the same, worryingly the participants' fat mass increased and muscle mass decreased.


Studies from the US, UK and China have consistently shown that it is easy to gain 05. to 1 kg (1.1 to 2.2 lb) or more over any given holiday period. People may be facing a weight gain of 1.5 to 3 kg (up to 6.6lb) or more over the extended holidays. For some this weight can take months to lose, for others they may never lose it at all.


So while celebrating and wanting to maintain our health, our waistlines, what can we do?

 
  • Make a plan, set some parameters. Think about what you really want to enjoy and the potential consequences. With some many occasions to feast ahead of you where can you exercise restraint? What does that look like to you?

Being conscious, mindful, about eating and drinking habits can make a difference to your success in weight management - and health - over the festive season.
  • Eat healthy, daily. Try to eat something healthy everyday. What meal can you control, breakfast perhaps? Can you make sure that you eat healthy snacks, fruit and nuts, on a daily basis or before you go out. Fill-up on healthy items so that you don't binge later.

  • Moderation and Portion Control. Enjoy the seasonal treats and the snacks but remember - you don’t have to go all-in every time. Portion control counts. By all means, enjoy the dessert but maybe don't go for seconds, or thirds!

  • Hydrate and fill. When the corks come out and the alcoholic drinks are pouring, alternate alcoholic drinks with plain water. Your waistline, liver and head will thank you later.

  • Plan a 'day off' after a feast day. No reason not to enjoy leftovers and perhaps focus on a day of 'light' eating.

  • Don't be afraid to say No. Politely turning down offers of food or drink can at time be difficult but pays dividends.

  • Regular weigh-ins work to keep you on track with your weight management goals.

  • Stick to your exercise habits and don't fear missing a workout or two. Getting your workout or exercise completed, especially during buys periods is a win. If you can complete a short workout - whatever you can do - consider it a success. A walk, a short run, a quick yoga routine, calisthenics, some stretching. If you exercise regularly use the Holiday weeks as a down (low volume) period to allow your body to recover. from the harder training cycles.

Thanksgiving pumpkin pie health
A slice of pie should be enjoyed!

Celebrating the Holidays doesn't mean living in denial. Just taking small steps to maintain your health, having a bigger goal in mind, and still enjoying that slice of pumpkin pie! If, after the Holidays, you want to have a chat about health or how to lose that Holiday weight gain, we are here to help.


Stay Healthy,


Felicia and Alastair

 
weight gain loss Thanksgiving Singapore

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Related Studies


Hengrong Luo & Xiaohua Yu (2022) National day holiday and Weight Gain in China: evidence from the CHNS surveys, Applied Economics Letters, 29:2,145-149,DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2020.1861184


Mason F, Farley A, Pallan M, Sitch A, Easter C, Daley AJ. Effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention to prevent weight gain over the Christmas holiday period: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2018 Dec 10;363:k4867. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k4867. PMID: 30530821; PMCID: PMC6287121.


Díaz-Zavala RG, Castro-Cantú MF, Valencia ME, Álvarez-Hernández G, Haby MM, Esparza-Romero J. Effect of the Holiday Season on Weight Gain: A Narrative Review. J Obes. 2017;2017:2085136. doi: 10.1155/2017/2085136. Epub 2017 Jul 4. PMID: 28744374; PMCID: PMC5514330.


Hull HR, Hester CN, Fields DA. The effect of the holiday season on body weight and composition in college students. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 Dec 28;3:44. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-3-44. PMID: 17192197; PMCID: PMC1766354.



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