• New Year food

New Year food (Photo : Reuters)

Holiday binge eating is not exactly a bad idea, three out of five experts say, Time has learned.

American University's registered dietitian Jo-Ann Jolly said that from her experience with weight loss counselling, those who use their upcoming New Year's resolution as an excuse to binge eat in advance are more likely to have very poor long-term compliance.

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"Definitely allow yourself a treat once or twice a week," Jolly advised. "But listen to your hunger cues and practice mindful portioning to avoid holiday binges."

One recent study revealed that Americans gain an average of approximately one pound between Thanksgiving and New Year, USA Today reported. While those sit around more often gain 1.5 pounds, those who have more active lifestyle lose 1.5 pounds.

"Though a one-pound weight gain over the holiday season may not seem like much, the truth is most Americans do not lose that pound," said Cleveland Clinic's Heart and Vascular Institute's registered dietician Kate Patton.

Patton said eating without control will definitely cause weight gain. She also pointed out that Americans' holiday pleasure foods are not likely to be Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman Heather Mangieri said having an active lifestyle allows enjoying a few extra holiday treats without worrying about gaining weight.

"You can't out-exercise a really bad diet," Mangieri said.

A Chicago registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner said in order to help compensate for the extra cookies and goodies consumed on holidays, having moderate exercise most days of the week is recommended.

Blatner added it is not necessary to "break a sweat to reap the calorie-burn benefits."