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Just Nibbling Over the Holidays Can Lead to Weight Gain

The average person gains just under one pound during the holiday season, and while bigger meals and rich foods are partly to blame, one of the biggest culprits is just “nibbling” throughout the day.

A new book on the market has added up the extra calories in 7,500 foods, and the author says those who are the worst at estimating how many calories they’re actually eating are the people who grab a bite here and there throughout the day. Why? When we nibble we don’t feel like we’re really eating, yet those extra calories add up.

It takes just 500 extra calories a day during the holiday season to gain about a pound, and research shows most people have not lost the extra weight by spring. Some of the worst culprits, based on calories and how long a 155-pound person would need to exercise to burn them off, include:

  • A half-pound of prime rib (230 minutes of yoga to burn off)
  • A Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (38 minutes of bicycling)
  • A Burger King Whopper (173 minutes of walking)
  • A piece of fruitcake (84-minute walk)
  • Premium ice cream (72 minutes to walk off 1/2 cup)

Of course, rather than focusing on what you shouldn’t be eating, I recommend focusing on what you should: A diet based on your nutritional type will keep you from gaining weight and should help you lose weight if you need to (all by eating tasty, wholesome foods that your body needs).

ABC News December 21, 2006