Thanksgiving Marks Start of Seasonal Gluttony

Thanksgiving marks the start of seasonal gluttony. From the end of November until after New Year’s people seem to be totally focused on their stomachs. After six weeks of stuffing your gut, you spend the rest of the year trying to make up for it.

The end of November is very predictable. I see a steady decline of participants in my yoga classes at the Ottawa Athletic Club. The fitness cycle is so predictable that a search on Google Trends confirms it. Google Trends tracks the number of times a search word is used.

As you can see from the diagram, the interest in Fitness and Yoga peak in January and decline throughout the year with a significant dip starting at the end of November through December. This cycle is so predictable that Google can forecast the trend for 2015 (dotted lines).


Seasonal Trends in Fitness (Red) and Yoga (Blue)

With interest declining in the 6 weeks – what is increasing? Our appetite. The word “recipe” shows up in our Season of Gluttony.

Google Trends for the word “Recipe”

and the words Thanksgiving, Turkey and Wine make their appearance quite impressively. They all peak at the same time.

Google search for words Thanksgiving (Blue), Turkey (Red) and Wine (Gold)

After overfeeding our gut, guilt sets in and interest in Diet and Fitness increases for a short period, just enough for New Year resolutions. Interest in Diet and Fitness have the same pattern – peaking in January and declining throughout the year. Whereas Yoga does not seem to have this rapid decline – instead the trend for Yoga is noticeably increasing compared to the season interest in Diet and Fitness.

Interest in the word Diet

The possible reason for the difference in patterns is that Diet and Fitness are seen as necessary short term strategies to compensate for the guilt (and weight) brought on by the Season of Gluttony. The practice of Yoga may be an adoption of a lifestyle that looks at the long term changes for healthy living.

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