Eat, drink & be very merry without holiday weight gain
The holidays are full of sparkly fun but all the parties, happy hour, endless holiday shopping, erratic schedules throwing off your routine… it can all be a recipe for disaster when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and staying slim. But it doesn’t have to!
It’s said the average person gains at least 1 – 2 (some sources report an average of 5 – 7) pounds during the holidays. I’ve even heard of the festive 15! Yikes. Even if it is only 1, statistics show that most people don’t lose it so those extra LBs add up year after year. Not to mention weight that creeps on during other times of the year due to celebrations, vacations, various events and stress. It’s easy for weight to creep on even when we aren’t partying, celebrating and throwing caution to the wind so being mindful and adopting good habits throughout the holidays will set you up for success.
Don’t get mad at me but for some odd reason I tend to lose a couple pounds over the holidays. Okay, it’s probably not such an odd reason, I think it’s because I get extra busy with more to do and I’m having so much fun that I don’t focus on food. I also adhere to some specific habits that help so I want to share them with you!
How does holiday weight loss sound?
I really do like this time of year. As stressful as it can be, I adore all the Christmas lights, holiday parties, decorations, the chill in the air – yes even in Los Angeles, it was 49° the other night, my friends. The general energy of merriment lights me up. Plus I love Christmas shopping, I like buying gifts for people which is probably why I enjoy creating gift baskets.
It’s not always easy for me, believe me. I eat well and take care of myself so I’m usually at a good weight but I fluctuate and it sucks when a few pounds creep on which they did earlier this year. Ugh. But I figured out how to stop the fluctuation, I am super happy that I recently lost 8 pounds in 3 weeks! I’ll share that with you too because why should you wait till January 1st, drop a few pounds now and then you’ll look your sexiest and hottest for all those holiday parties, right?!
Eat protein with each meal Protein helps keep you satiated and it’s key for preserving muscle mass.
Don’t party hungry Eat something healthy and low calorie before you head out. This will help you eat less since you won’t be starving.
Bring it Bring something healthy and delicious to those potlucks so there will be at least one thing at the table you can enjoy that won’t be loaded with saturated fat.
Take 20 I know, everyone is extra busty right now so one of the first things to go by the wayside is your workout. But we all have 20 minutes. Do an interval training session a few times a week, studies show interval training is an effective way to burn fat. A few times a week, get your heart rate up for 3-4 minutes by jumping rope, doing some squats & lunges then recover for 1 minute. Do another high intensity 3-4 minutes with some burpees, pushups and tricep dips. Repeat this sequence until your 20 minutes is up, go for 30 minutes if you have the time. You’ll burn fat and work your whole body.
Get plenty of sleep Watch your caffeine throughout the day and don’t drink any in the afternoon. Have your magnesium levels checked, a deficiency can affect sleep. Inadequate amounts of sleep can cause a spike ghrelin,the hunger hormone and a dip in leptin, the hormone that signals satiety.
Fill up on the good stuff Enjoy the treats and special main courses but pile your plate with lots of veggies and fruit to help fill you up.
Sneak in exercise Make all that running around work for you. Walk briskly, take stairs & take the long way around the mall. Instead of meeting a friend for coffee, chat while you power walk together. Take a family walk after dinner.
You absolutely can avoid packing on the LBs this holiday season!
Practice Mindful eating Put your fork down in between meals! Slow down, enjoy and be mindful about the flavors. Eating too fast can prevent you from appreciating the joy of eating.
Dance! Step away from the food table and socialize on the other side of the room away from the spread. Burn major calories on the dance floor. Whatever you do, don’t mindlessly chat and graze when you’re not even genuinely hungry.
Fill up on fiber Eat your veggies first, the fiber will help you feel satiated so you’ll be less likely to fall prey to unhealthy choices.
Try the 3 bite rule The first 3 bites contain 95% of the taste satisfaction. Staring at a dish you just can’t resist or maybe you decided to allow yourself that favorite holiday desert? Eat 3 bites and you may not even want more.
Go Green Use clean, non toxic beauty and personal care products. Toxins are stored in our fat cells. Many of them are endocrine disrupting obesegens that promote fat storage, can alter metabolism as well as the balance of lipid metabolism in promoting calorie storage as opposed to burning them.
Manage that stress Stress is a recipe for disaster when it comes to weight management. It can cause cortisol levels to spike which can impede weight loss. De-stress in what ever ways that feel good for you… reading, meditation, working out, playing with your dog, getting out in nature, sex… what ever de-stresses you, do it!
Be festive Focus on your family, friends and new acquaintances. Put the emphasis on the experience and making memories.
Self Care You must take time for yourself during the holidays, especially if it’s a particularly stressful, anxiety ridden time of year for you.
Stay hydrated Drink plenty of water, sometimes thirst signals as hunger. Dehydration can also cause fatigue.
It’s about creating habits, these are principles and strategies you can use throughout the entire year
Go sparingly Rather than piling a few slices of cheese in your sandwiches, just add one, you’ll still get that cheesy flavor minus up to a few hundred calories.
Weigh yourself every week If a pound creeps up, you know you have to reign it in.
Limit taste tests Calories can really add up when you mindlessly nibble here and there. Eat only while you’re sitting down and enjoying your food. It’s so much more enjoyable that way anyway.
Find an accountability buddy This is especially helpful when it comes to any goal you’re trying to achieve, particularly weight loss and maintenance. If you’re feeling weak and want to give into a craving or blow it on some fattening dish, call your buddy who can talk you down!
Plan ahead This is a really important one. It can save you from making fattening, unhealthy food choices. When you’re running around shopping and doing all the extra stuff we do during the holidays, arm yourself with healthy snacks.
Planning ahead & eating healthy when you’re crazy busy can be a challenge, for a quick and easy list that will make this easier for you, download my free guide:
Walk it off On the phone? Walk and talk outside or in the hallways. Walk wherever you can.
Don’t have a seat Stand whenever possible, you burn more calories while standing. Besides, it’s not news that sitting is the new smoking. Those who sit for long stretches on most days are at 147% higher risk for heart related illness.
Enjoy If you do indulge a little, it’s 1 meal, don’t worry, enjoy and get back on track with your next meal.
Stop when you’re satisfied Pay attention to your satiety, take a few deep breathes. Control your thoughts, eat only when you’re hungry. When you’re starting to get full but continue eating you’ll be stuffed and uncomfortable. Doing this often is where extra pounds come from.
Watch the alcohol consumption I’m not sayin’ don’t drink, you know I’m all for boozin’ it up, but choose wisely and don’t go over board. Well, at least not at every party! Mixed drinks can be loaded with sugar and calories so stick to wine, simple drinks without sugary mixers or drink it neat baby.
Commit to staying on track Make your mind up to do it. Like anything you truly want to accomplish, it starts with your commitment. Food is fuel. It is not comfort or a reward.
Decide before you partake Make the decision before you go to each festivity that you are either going to stay on track or allow yourself to indulge. If you do, enjoy it. Count it as your cheat meal.
Don’t stress about it If you do indulge more than you planned here and there, don’t beat yourself up. Live a little, enjoy it, have fun and move on. It’s just one meal and you can snap back into good habits quickly. What you resist, persists. If you are not feeling it, if you’re not in alignment with watching what you eat then give yourself a break without getting too off course and get back on track when it feels in alignment for you.
As my wise mom always said, moderation is key Don’t go hog wild just because it’s the holidays but don’t completely deprive yourself either. Have your mom’s famous Christmas cookies but don’t overindulge. Balance with small portions and eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Sounds simple but it works. You’ll be happy when you’re not faced with trying to lose 5 extra pounds come January.
Lose it now If you do gain, I can help you take it off with ease. Or maybe you want to lose a few to look and feel your healthiest and most gorgeous for the holidays? You can!
The things we need to do to maintain weight and even lose weight are really rather simple but they’re not easy. However, they certainly get easier as they become your new normal. Build up on the habits day by day and they will become second nature.
It’s not always easy for me, believe me. I’m usually at a good weight but I have always fluctuated. I eat right, exercise and live a healthy lifestyle but sometimes I’m up 5-7 pounds which does not feel good on me. I know, not a lot of weight, I keep it in perspective but it doesn’t feel good on my small frame. I have an hour glass figure, I’m not trying to keep my curves at bay, I simply feel better and like the way my clothes fit when I’m at my smaller size. Although it’s not majorly noticeable, I prefer it.
Let me be clear, this is about being healthy and maintaining a weight that you are comfortable with, it is not about being skinny or trying to look a certain way. It’s a personal choice. Sure, being at a healthy weight is vital to your overall health but there’s a range of healthy weight. Two people can be the same height and bone structure, have a 15 pound weight difference but they can both be healthy and look great. Was I healthy with a good figure with that 8 pounds? Yes, but I’m more comfortable without it. Furthermore, I like having sexy curves! I have a small frame but I’m going to have a J Lo booty no matter what size I am!
That being said, if you are several or even just a few pounds over where you want to be, then get rid of it.
They say losing weight is easy, keeping it off is hard. Frankly, the freaking losing weight can be hard. Even when it’s just 6 pounds, trust me. Well, I recently figured out how to make both pretty damn easy.
As I mentioned, I lost 8 pounds in 3 weeks with ease and it’s staying off! I’ll share more about that in the video series but if you’d like to learn more and have a free health assessment, click here to book a time that is convenient for you.
It’s an innovative lifestyle approach that gets your mind and body working together helping you adopt healthy habits that contribute to your long-term success.
Have fun & indulge in a bevy of holiday merriment this season ?
A votre sante!