Chances are, you’ll never be slimmer this year than you are right now. At least this is what can be extrapolated from a new study from the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers asked roughly 3,000 people from Japan, Germany, and the United States to weigh themselves using Withings digital scales every day for a year, and found that October is the leanest month for Americans. Why? All participants, no matter the country of origin, gained the most weight during their respective holiday seasons. And the 1,781 Americans involved saw a 0.2 percent increase over Thanksgiving, and 0.4 percent over Christmas (shocker). That added weight didn’t come off until five months later, and participants hit their lowest yearly weight until the beginning of October.
Researchers admit the weight drop could be because the experiment made participants more aware of their weight, and, consciously or not, they worked harder to slim down. Still, there is plenty to learn from these results: "Instead of making a New Year's resolution, make an October resolution," says Brian Wansink, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and lead researcher of this study. "It's easier to avoid holiday pounds than to lose them after they happen."
All of which makes perfect logical sense. But what to do about it? We say to take advantage of your best body now, before the mashed potatoes and turkey, Christmas ham and figgy pudding find their way in to ruin your best intentions. Here's how.
Schedule Holiday Photos Now
Why wait until you’ve packed on some tailgating pounds to take the annual family photo? Poor form. Wrangle the kids, bust out your best dickie or ugly sweater and find a faux-fireplace background sooner rather than later. Cousin Leonard will be so jealous.
Amp Up Your Dating Profile
The swipe-right-to-like life is all about showcasing your most confident self. So now’s the time to update that profile with some new snaps of you at your yearly leanest and meanest. Just keep it tasteful.
Sign up for a Race — This Weekend
Keeping in mind with Wansink’s dictum of treating October as though it was your January, and signing up for every 10K, turkey trot, or Spartan Race you can muster to get a personal best — and maybe even keep those pounds off.
Bust Out the Sunday Crossword
Because you’ll likely have a better time remembering that five letter word for Greek muse this month. A recent study from the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology found that men with higher BMI have lower episodic memories.
Hold off on the Suit Shopping
You might be tempted to treat yourself to a nice winter-weight suit. But after the holidays you may have to loosen the belt loop just a bit, so there’s no sense in spending money on a tailored outfit that won’t quite contain your belly. Hold off until at least after Thanksgiving comes along (same goes for shoes).