Overeating at Social Events

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…Now onto the post that goes with todays title.

It’s pretty obvious that some sort of purposeful dieting is required for weight loss (as most of us don’t just accidentally lose weight)

But it sure seems like we can accidentally gain weight.  So what gives?

I have a theory that for most people in north america (and most other industrialized countries) weight gain is a direct result of frequent social event based eating and the social pressure and acceptance to over consume food and booze. I call this “Weight Loss Sabotage“.

Overeating At Thanksgiving

Everyone overdoes it at thanksgiving

This is my short list of the times of year when it’s totally normal and socially acceptable to completely gorge yourself with food and/or overdo it with booze.

Christmas

Thanksgiving

Halloween

Easter

Your Birthday

Your family and friends birthdays

Weddings

National holiday (4th of July for USA, 1st of July for Canada etc)

Anniversaries

New Years

Superbowl

Any summer cookout or BBQ

And this list doesn’t include the occasional random dinner out with friends or eating while watching your favorite sporting event.

snackadium

The "Snackadium" Pure enjoyment, pure weight gain!

You could easily gain 5-10lbs per year just by overeating on these 20-30 days each year.

That means the other 330 days per year you’re likely eating just enough food to maintain your weight.

I believe it is this kind of ‘special occasion’ eating that causes people to slowly gain weight…then 5 years later they wonder how the hell they gained 50lbs!

The key to avoiding the weight gain is to have low calorie days that offsets each high calorie occasion.

The problem with this situation is that it’s easy to overeat 2000-3000 calories at each of these occasions but it probably takes 2-3 days of dieting to reduce your calorie intake by this same amount.

In other words 20-30 days of overeating likely require 60-90 days of dieting to take that weight back off (and that’s just to get you back to where you started) if you want to lose even more you gotta diet for even longer. As you can see this starts adding up to a good portion of the year spent dieting.

It’s all just simple math.

Every calorie you eat above your maintenance level is going to get stored on you as bodyfat. If you don’t have a few low calorie days to compensate you’ll never burn that body fat off.

This is why you never hear of people who just accidentally lost weight.

Pick and choose your overeating days wisely and remind yourself that it’s probably going to take 3 days of dieting to erase the weight gain of one big eating day.

There are other things you can do to avoid overeating at some of these events. One of them is simply sharing food when you go out for dinner so you can still eat what you want and lose weight.

Another thing you can do is use some tricks called “dieting hacking” to get through some of these big eating events without consuming as many calories as everyone else (without looking like an outcast) the way Brad Pilon describes here: Diet Hack

Every little trick helps.

John