Fat & the Fall: unhealthy holiday habits begin earlier than you might think

Fat & the Fall: unhealthy holiday habits begin earlier than you might think

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests we start packing on the holiday pounds as early as the first week of October.

"It gets cold outside. We come out with a lot of holiday drinks. Just extra treats and it seems like a lot of people just indulge without really thinking about it," Wellness Coach Caitlin Hancock said.

Hancock said the holiday themed eats and drinks are not doing us any favors.

"A lot of the special holiday drinks and treats and stuff have a lot of sugar in them," she said.

Someone trying to avoid the extra holiday poundage is Ashlee Terrell.

"I for sure gain weight every holiday season," Terrell said.

The mother of three said her hectic holiday schedule has been partly to blame in the past.

"I'm not really sure how much weight I would gain but I know I pack it on. I have three kids and I'm on the go all the time and I just grab whatever I can see," she said.

The study done by the Tampere University of Technology in Finland and Cornell University found of the nearly 3,000 participants, they gained on average one to two pounds during the holiday season. \

"There's bags of candy and as soon as Halloween is over you're looking at Christmas candy and Thanksgiving and before you know it the year is gone," Terrell said.

Those added pounds take about five months to burn off.

"I think that one thing that could really help people is just to pay attention. It's kind of about mindset and not giving up before you get started," Hancock said.

To make sure you have a healthy holiday season, Hancock said it all comes down to being mindful of what you're eating, getting some exercise and drinking a lot of water. It doesn't have to be a weight lifting gym session, but a walk in the park with family after dinner will do.

Hancock is holding a 12-week challenge for women who want to stay healthy this holiday season. For more information contact her on Facebook.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

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