Working out of my New York office this week, I think I've discovered the cause of my end-of-year weight gain. I haven't given it much thought, but since I'm writing about the hot diets for 2010, weight loss and calorie consumption have been top of mind.

Walking through our office, every table and counter is crowded with homemade holiday cookies. While writing this column today, I journaled my holiday treat caloric total. During the course of the day, I've consumed more than a thousand extra calories as I absentmindedly grab treats during the workday.

My own eating habits aside, seasonal online diet interest is one of the most fascinating areas of behavioral patterns. Search term data reveals that "diet" searches are highly repeatable events. Our diet searches peak on January 1 every single year. (The peak, by the way, typically lasts for four days. An indication of our dieting staying power.) With brief increases that coincide with swimsuit seasons, such as spring break and summer, our "diet" searches reach a low point every year on the highest caloric holiday: Thanksgiving Day.


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