It's just going to be one meal, so it's not going to do much damage to your weight or your routine.
The holiday season is right around the corner, which means it's time to get together with friends and family and celebrate the occasion. This also means that there will be a lot of food to choose from, and people are worried about gaining a few extra pounds as they tend to deviate from their usual routine.
This is also a time where there's a lot of advice on the internet on how to not gain weight during the holidays, but let's face it, one good meal is not going to kill anyone, apart from the joy you get. So, it's only natural for people to be anxious about the impending effects of a Christmas feast.
"It's definitely a very common worry and [that] concern is really understandable," registered dietitian Emily Fonnesbeck told INSIDER. "We live in a culture that has led us to believe that our weight is the most important thing. Going into the holiday season, you could easily feel ... worried about the abundance of food."
Sure, it's always best to keep a cap on the things that go into your mouth, but you need to realize that it is completely okay to let loose once in a blue moon, instead of constantly worrying about your weight. Yes, there will be fluctuations in your weight after a big meal, but it is just temporary.
"If you eat a pound of food, you will be a pound heavier—at least until you go to the bathroom," registered dietitian Rachael Hartley said. "That doesn't mean your body has gained weight. If you weigh yourself—I don't recommend it—you'll likely see a gain the next day. But one meal does not cause you to gain weight. Most of what you see is fluid retention from eating what's likely a higher-sodium meal."
Another misconception is the fact that people think they gain around 5-10 pounds during the holidays which is just not true. "Typically the fear-mongering on the internet [says] you're going to gain, like, five to 10 pounds just during the holidays," Fonnesbeck said. "But what we're actually seeing is that it's more like an average of one to two pounds."
Also, constantly worrying about food causes you to unintentionally eat more than you would otherwise. "It's really the obsession with weight and preoccupation with food that causes extreme behaviors that could easily affect weight," Fonnesbeck said.
We've all tried to skip meals and starve ourselves just so we can eat to our heart's content for one meal, but honestly, that is the worst thing that you can do to yourself. "Then you go into that holiday meal just like a planned binge, really," Fonnesbeck said. "And it can easily lead to overeating and then the feeling of needing to compensate afterward. That's the back and forth: Restriction, and then chaos, and then restriction, and then chaos."
Remember, it's one meal, not a lifestyle. As good as it is to exercise control over your diet, it will not affect your routine in any manner, so let go of your inhibitions and eat that meal.
Cover Image Source (Representative): Getty Images | MilosStankovic