September is the second fattest month of the year!
There are a number of issues that can affect our eating patterns were we may either gain or lose weight. Consistently there are a couple of times of the year and times throughout the week that challenges our weight loss strategy. Research demonstrates that on average September is the second fattest month of the year, only out ranked by December. On average, some individuals may gain up to five pounds over the course of the September.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Ben Franklin
Research also demonstrates that our weekly downfall begins at end of the week which is Friday for most of us. Osama et.al. reports in a study of 2,000 adults, the weekly rhythm of the weight cycle demonstrated their weight was higher at the beginning of the week. This same study confirmed increased caloric consumption and decreased exercise over the weekend as the culprit for those changes (2014).
This feedback is dead on with my experience and how I eat. Yes, it would probably be more advantageous to have a “cheat meal” during the week, however, I am usually out and about in social situations on Friday or Saturday that I have to plan for. Also, because of football, I will spend more time in front of the television for extended periods of time.
And as conventional wisdom would suggest, those individuals who avoided this downward spiral were able to start exercising on at least Sunday to begin to attack the couple of pounds put on over the weekend. Understanding issues such as these demonstrate how planning plays a major role in both the success of our exercise and eating strategies in the fall.
The September weight gain can also sneak up on us. For example, once we begin getting “fatter”, the first couple of pounds may not be easily detected. A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health, University of Texas Branch (UTMB), demonstrate that a significant number of females evaluated at six-months intervals did not recognize they had gained weight. A number of them failed to realize a recent gain up to 11 pounds (2012).
Do Not Look Where You Fell, Look Where You Slipped (African Proverb)
This African proverb instructs us to acknowledge our mistakes at their core, their base or cause. Once we understand the “slip” we can be proactive with addressing and overcoming our barriers to change. These modifications or shifts allow us to regain our equilibrium, use our strengths and avoid ending up on our figurative backside. Losing and keeping weight for many us can be difficult. Mann et.al. reports 95% of people who diet regain the weight they lost within one to five years. And for two-thirds of the dieters, they will end up gaining more weight than they lost (2017).
Again, the ultimate goal should be to transition away from a dieting mentality associated with the summer and align more with a mindset that focuses on a change of lifestyle strategy in the colder months. That way we can make conscious choices that will allow us to plan and maintain our progress throughout the winter months without any significant weight gain.
I always encourage you gather additional research on the topics I review, and if necessary connect with a mental health practitioner if necessary. I truly believe you become more empowered when you personally take ownership of your “mircrowins” journey!
Read credible sources regarding the science of weight loss
Monitor Intake food journal/tracker
Plan healthy meals and snacks ahead time, especially at functions/sporting events that last all day
Be prepared for and do not fall into peer pressure in social settings, stick to the plan.
Weigh in on Friday to take your momentum into the weekend. Some sources say it is best to weigh in right after the using the bathroom every morning. This one is controversial because there a number of reasons that can affect weight gain from day to day.
If you are eating out, be careful of portion sizes and empty calories in items such as “fruity drinks”, sodas and energy drinks.
If you had an unproductive weekend, do not weigh in on Monday. Weigh in at the end of the week. Gaining small victories such as these will allow you to carry momentum back into the week.
*First, if you are struggling with an eating disorder of any kind, you need to contact a mental health provider. This information is not medical or dieting advice, just to call your attention to what research says about September.
As always is about #microwins
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Kris J. Snyder MFT, MBA, CPT
Anna-Leena Orsama, Elina Mattila, Miikka Ermes, Mark van Gils, Brian Wansink, Ilkka Korhonen. Weight Rhythms: Weight Increases during Weekends and Decreases during Weekdays. Obesity Facts, 2014; 7 (1): 36 DOI: 10.1159/000356147
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. (2014, February 3). Whether you lose or gain weight depends on weekdays. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203084537.htm
Mann, T. et. al. (2007).Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: Diets are not the answer The American Psychologist, 62, 3, 220-233
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2012, January 10). Young women unknowingly pack on the pounds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 15, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120110173457.htm