holiday eating is not making you fat

In recent years I’ve heard some “experts” on TV say you should eat light on Thanksgiving so you don’t become obese.  First of all, that’s stupid, and second, the research doesn’t support such tomfoolery.  According to a study, the average weight gain for the holiday season (including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s) is just 0.8 pounds.  That’s not a typo.  For all the hype from the media outlets, you’d think people were becoming instantly obese from a couple of big meals.  0.8 pounds is nothing — you can gain that just from eating normal, or if your regularity is not as regular.  I figured the number would be higher, given the big holiday meals, the extra cookies, and the parties.

Obviously some Thanksgiving meals are more fattening than others, but a traditional feast shouldn’t be that bad.  I figure a normal Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be more unhealthy than some of the things you can get at restaurants, particularly all-you-can-eat buffets.  Plus you might be eating less processed food, which could make it healthier.

To diet on Thanksgiving day and Christmas day is foolish, if you want my opinion.  It’s hard enough to diet and eat right, particularly if you enjoy eating.  To miss out on the most special meals of the year would be depressing.  If you’re seriously trying to lose weight, one way to approach it is to eat healthier in the days leading up to the big meals, to rationalize eating a lot at the family get-togethers and parties.

Of course, common sense disclaimers apply.  For example, if you’re on the verge of a heart attack or some other severe health problem, maybe you shouldn’t eat a huge meal, but in that case, you should do something about it NOW.

Let’s get back to the study, if I may rant for a minute.  The health “experts” shouldn’t try to make people feel bad during the holidays if the research shows that the holiday eating isn’t the problem.  Here’s what irked me most about the article:

In the study, 14% of overweight and obese individuals gained more than five pounds during the holiday. In the abstract, the researchers wrote, “holiday weight gain may be an important contributor to the rising prevalence of obesity, even though absolute values for weight gain in this study were less than anticipated.”

Okay, so obese people gained more weight than average.  That’s not exactly breaking news, since they’ve obviously been gaining weight before then, so they’re just continuing the trend.  But notice the quote from the researchers, which basically says they’re still sticking to their hypothesis even though the statistics don’t support it.  Hopefully some people were reprimanded over that kind of junk.

So in conclusion, don’t feel bad about eating a few big meals during holiday feasts and parties.  The obesity problem isn’t caused by a couple of big meals here and there.  (Shouldn’t that be common sense?)  And the next time a news person on TV says to cut back during the holidays, eat another piece of pecan pie… or pumpkin pie… or cookies… you get the idea.  🙂  Eat, drink, and be merry.

caption contest, overweight woman at Burger King

It’s time for another caption contest, and I’ve been hearing it doesn’t need to be late this week.  So here goes…

This week’s photo features a man and woman eating at the same table.  The man’s T-shirt could potentially be offensive to the woman, for obvious reasons.  There’s also the fact that they’re at Burger King, which is not exactly a health food type restaurant.  It’s up to you to write a funny caption to explain what either of these people might be thinking or about to say.  Or you can make a joke about the situation.   The only requirement is that it’s funny (and clean).

(Click for a larger image.)

(To see our other caption contests, click on the “Say What?” category in the sidebar.)

getting fat the right way

I ate at Chili’s tonight with a couple of guys, and as we were examining the menu, one guy noticed some mini burgers and asked about them.  None of us had tried them, but judging by the picture it looked like these had more bread than meat.  I said I prefer my burgers to have more meat than bread, and this prompted one guy to say:

I like to get fat the right way. ~ Matt B.

That’s classic…  And he is of robust size, a meat-and-taters type of guy.  And he did make a valid point — if you’re gonna be overweight, you should enjoy it.  You don’t want to get fat from salads (which can happen if you use salad dressing).

it can be healthy to be fat

According to cutting-edge research, it is actually healthy to have a fat butt.  That sounds like something crazier than I would ever even make up, but it’s the gist of an article I happened to find on a news website.

For all the people with fat around their stomach, that’s totally unhealthy, unfortunately.  I’ll have to keep looking for some cutting-edge research that finds a way to explain how that’s somehow healthy…

(BTW, I’ve heard blogging professionals say you should include pictures with your posts, to increase interest.  I try to do that sometimes.  But I think this post is an exception.  You should be thankful I realized that…)