One of the biggest threats to someones weight loss goals is the dreaded holiday weight gain. The weeks following Halloween through January 1st can feel like a sugar and and stress party that most people just try and “get through”.
Two responses to that:
– You do not want to set yourself back or undo all the hard work you’ve already put in. If you’ve done this long enough, you know dropping body fat is a slow and steady process, but putting it on is certainly easier.
– You can avoid holiday weight gain with just a bit of strategy.
HERE’S HOW TO STAY ON TRACK DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Pick three to five days during the season where you’re not going to focus on your nutrition at all
There are some days during the season where it’s more important that you are just present, enjoying time with friends and family. These are not “cheat days” but an opportunity for you to just enjoy the spirit of the holidays and the company you’re keeping. If you have an extra half slice of pie, we won’t tell.
-New Year’s Eve
During these events, one should not worry too much about tracking or going through DIET MODE. Instead, they should focus on enjoying time with loved ones. Their goals should not be completely forgotten however. Possible tactics on these days can include.
- Eat until you’re 80% full
- Fill approximately 1/2 your plate with veggies, 1/4 with lean protein, and 1/4 with starches/grains
- Don’t hit the dessert table until you’re mostly full
- Don’t make it about food. Realize that these events are about spending time with your friends and family. The food is great, but it should not be the focus.
Keep it tight on other days
Realize that the “holidays” do not last for 2 months (even though that is how long we treat them). They are in fact, single dates on the calendar. Saying “whatever” during the holidays will for sure equal that 7-10 lb holiday weight gain that is the usual. If you truly are focused on obtaining your goals over the season (even if the goal is to maintain), you should focus on being on point the rest of the time outside of the holiday events. Staying on track with your nutrition on the days you don’t have an event is a major help in keeping you progressing during the holidays. Focus on self-care Sundays where you get food prep done and set yourself up for a less stressful week. This will make hitting your macros a breeze.
Think about this: if you follow the strategy above, you’ll have 6 to 10 less-than-perfect days with your nutrition during the entire holiday season. If you were to say “screw it” until January 1st, you’ll be looking at about 40 days of completely off-track nutrition. That’s 40 days to do some serious damage, undo some of your progress thus far, and set yourself up to be further away from your goals come January 1st, 2019.
Mind your wine
Eating more indulgent (likely, less nutrient-rich) food, getting poorer quality sleep, and extending yourself with more responsibilities and to-dos is stressful on the body. Adding alcohol on top of all that will only make stress, cortisol and inflammation more amplified. Not to mention, when your inhibitions are low, that cheese plate and assorted dessert tray starts looking pretty tempting
KEY TIP: Try NUTRITION CHECKS AND BALANCES: You can still have your wine, but if you are committed you will find a way to not have much of the other indulgent foods like pie, candy etc.
A little bit of effort and strategy will go a long way this holiday season!
If you need more accountability during this season to avoid the common holiday weight gain, you can also partake in our ZERO POUND CHALLENGE and work to key your weight where it is and maintain your gains.