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How Much Weight Do People Gain on Thanksgiving?

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Popular belief holds that the average American gains somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds over the holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Year's Day). A few studies over the last decade, though, have found that we're not nearly as gluttonous as we think we are.

After weighing 94 graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Oklahoma before and after their Thanksgiving break, researchers found that the students gained, on average, only 0.5 kg or 1.10 pounds.

When the researchers stratified the students by gender, class standing and BMI category (either normal or overweight/obese), they found that males gained more weight than females (0.6 kg or 1.32 lb), graduate students gained more weight than undergrads (0.8 kg or 1.76 lb) and students classified as overweight by their by BMI gained more than students with normal BMIs (1.0 kg or 2.20 lb).

Another study by the National Institutes of Health repeatedly weighed 195 volunteers (mostly employees of the NIH in Maryland) during the period between late September and early March.

Between late September and mid-November, there was a mean weight gain of 0.18 kg or 0.39 lb. During the mid-November to mid-January holiday period, the mean weight gain was 0.37 kg or 0.81 lb. During the remainder of the study period, there was actually a mean weight loss of 0.07 kg or 0.15 lb. Total average gain for the whole study period was 0.48 kg or 1.05 lb (slightly less than the Oklahoma students had gained during Thanksgiving break alone). A few outliers (about 9% of the participants) gained at least 2.3 kg or 5.07 lb over the mid-November to mid-January holiday period.

The majority of participants were weighed again after the initial study period in the following September or October, where the researchers found that not only were those holiday pounds not lost, there was an additional average weight gain of 0.21 kg or 0.45 lb.

What are the takeaways from this research?

1. You will probably gain some weight this Thanksgiving (and some more during the December holidays).
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2. It will not be as much as you might think (when participants in the NIH reported their perceived weight gain, it was usually four times as much as they had actually gained).
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3. Although the average weight gains in these studies were modest, the NIH researchers did find that these gains were not reversed over the summer, so all those extra drumsticks might just catch up with you over the course of a few years.

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
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Food
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Warby Parker
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Space
Warby Parker Is Giving Away Free Eclipse Glasses in August
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Warby Parker

When this year’s rare “all-American” total solar eclipse comes around on August 21, you’ll want to be prepared. Whether you’re chasing the eclipse to Kentucky or viewing it from your backyard, you’ll need a way to watch it safely. That means an eclipse filter over your telescope, or specially designed eclipse glasses.

For the latter, you can just show up at your nearest Warby Parker, and their eye experts will hand over a pair of eclipse glasses. The stores are giving out the free eye protectors throughout August. The company’s Nashville store is also having an eclipse party to view the celestial event on the day-of.

Get your glasses early, because you don’t want to miss out on this eclipse, which will cross the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. There are only so many total solar eclipses you’ll get to see in your lifetime, after all.

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