Winter is coming: You're at the lowest weight you'll be all year

Source: AP
Source: AP

If you feel like flaunting it, this could be the reason: A new article published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that October is the time when your weight is likely the lowest it will be all year. 

But you might want to snap a pic, quick — it'll last longer. Your weight is about to increase as winter sets in, according to the article. Halloween, Thanksgiving, holiday parties and other festive food-centric celebrations do a number on our waistlines. Womp, womp. 

Source: Giphy

The study: Researchers analyzed the weights of roughly 3,000 people in three countries (U.S., Germany and Japan) over the course of a year. Weights were collected from wireless scales. Of the Americans studied, about 1 in 4 was obese — a slightly lower prevalence of obesity than nationally, more than 1 in 3.

The results: In all three countries, people gained weight around Christmas. No surprise there. People also gained weight around their country's national holidays: In the U.S., Thanksgiving was associated with weight gain; in Germany and the U.S., Easter was associated with a gain; in Japan, Golden Week, a series of holidays at the end of April and beginning of May, was linked with weight gain. 

These extra pounds don't equate to just temporarily tight pants. The weight people gained over the holiday period (October, November, December) took them a whopping five months to lose. In the U.S. that would translate to April. 

In lieu of setting a New Year's resolution to lose weight, study co-author Brian Wansink  told the New York Times that people might consider making an October resolution to maintain healthy habits through the holidays. That way, you'd "gain less in the first place," he said. 

It's not about your skinny jeans; it's about your life.

But maintaining a healthy weight isn't about fitting into a certain size of clothing. Whether you have a large or small circle of family and friends, the holidays can be inherently stressful. There's a lot working against you, so be easy on yourself. 

High stress levels lead to elevated cortisol, which can cause the brain to crave high-calorie foods, Life by Daily Burn reported. Your action plan: Self-care is king during times of stress — and hey, if that means a few extra cookies here and there, it won't be the end of the world. 

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Alex Orlov

Alex is a food staff writer. She can be reached at aorlov@mic.com.

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