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Good News! Your Weight Starts Dropping on Tuesday

Elina Helander, Ilkka Korhonen, Angela Chieh, and Briand Wansink (2016). Weight Gain over the Holidays in Three Countries. New England Journal of Medicine,  doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1602012

London, Tokyo, and Topeka – across the globe, this past week was the worst week for our diets.  In no single week does our planet gain more weight. 

Here’s the good news:  That all ends this Tuesday – on January 3rd. That’s when our collective worldly weight peaks and starts to decline, according to a Cornell Food and Brand Lab study in the New England Journal of Medicine.   To determine this, researchers tracked the weight patterns of 10,000 owners of wireless scales, eventually focusing on over 2800 individuals from the US, Germany, and Japan.

“It doesn’t matter if you live in Tokyo or Topeka, your keeps climbing until January 3rd,” said Brian Wansink professor and director of the Cornell Food and Brand lab and author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.

Besides Tuesday being the last heaviest day of this holiday season, the study also has another silver lining according to Wansink:  “People who weighed themselves at least four times a week, lost half of their holiday weight by the end of January. If you don’t hide from the bad news, it won’t be bad news for very long.”

These findings are important for those who are trying to lose weight because they show that the more weight you gain during the holidays, the longer it takes to lose. “So, instead of beating yourself up for not shedding holiday weight this year, make a resolution to keep weight gain down during the next holiday season,” said Wansink.

The self-funded study was conducted by Elina E. Helander, PhD, and Ilkka K. J. Korhonen, PhD of Tampere University of Technology in Finland, and Brian Wansink, PhD of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab.