The holiday season is officially ‘on’ and in full swing! Can you believe that 2020 is almost over?! Although this holiday season is looking a bit different this year, it still hasn’t been canceled.
This time of the year is very often a big downfall for those who have big and bold fitness goals even under normal circumstances; let alone in 2020 when the whole year has been a serious case of emotional eating and makeshift home workouts. (I know it’s not just me!😂)
In fact, Dr. John Morton, medical director of bariatric surgery at Yale says he has seen patients gaining upwards to 30lbs this year alone. With the stay-at-home orders, those AMAZINGLY delicious Pinterest comfort food recipes, trying to up your baking skills for when you’re finally out of quarantine, and eating our anxiety away PLUS with gyms & parks closed… It’s no wonder!
With this time of the year being responsible for people putting on 80% of their annual weight, it is understandable to see so many panicking about this holiday season. It is also important to note that another big issue with holiday weight gain is that many people struggle to lose that weight once the holiday season is over, which it is speculated that the season can be one of the reasons for increased body weight over the years.
I know how the Holidays can add to your already stressful life… So to add COVID during this holiday season, it’s not surprising that weight gain is on the rise! Stopping holiday weight gain this year may be harder than the years past but definitely not impossible! NOW is a great opportunity to assess your current lifestyle and health! Whatever your weight or fitness goals are, I am here to push you, motivate you, and hold you accountable. COVID season or not! Let’s continue going into the holiday season with an unbreakable mindset because
So, today I am going to be sharing with you my top tips to minimize the holiday season (and the months after that) weight gain:
1- Keep a routine
During the holiday season everything feels a bit out of sorts and your routine can feel off. From my experience as a gym-goer and a coach, I have noticed that when the routine is off, the first thing to go is healthy habits like eating nutrient-dense foods and exercising. By sticking to some kind of routine, even if you reduce the amount of time you exercise, it will still give you a feeling of accomplishment and control.
2- Don’t go to a family gathering/party hungry
There isn’t a more DEFINITE way to overeat than to show up to a holiday party (or any party, really)- with endless foods and drinks – hungry! I am guilty of that sometimes and I can definitely see a huge difference in the amount I eat and in the choices I make when I have a little snack before heading out to the party.
This is important because time flies when you’re having fun right? Sometimes you may not even be aware of how MUCH you’re eating when you’re standing next to a delicious food table and your laughing & snacking away. So if you’re not careful, you’ll be having such a great time, you’ll overindulge! The best tip I can give you is to remember your WHY. Why you are choosing a healthier lifestyle. Because remember.. Your satisfaction & achievement will outweigh the temporary feeling of indulgence at any social party or gathering!
3- Fill your plate with vegetables
I know this is an old trick, but it has made the list because it works! Vegetables are rich in fiber, and fiber helps you feel fuller for longer… unlike sugar-rich and processed foods. Btw, I don’t have anything against processed and sugary foods, as long as they are consumed in moderation and you stay within your calorie limits for the day/week.
A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine suggests if you aim to eat fiber each day, it can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and improve your body’s response to insulin just as effectively as a more complicated diet- Which eating healthier just sounds so much easier!
- The USDA advises a balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy products. Most Americans don’t get the recommended daily amount (RDA) of fiber: 22 to 28 grams for women and 28 to 33 grams for men.
4- Just say no
If you are trying to be a bit more mindful of how much you are eating, and aunt Mary won’t leave you alone offering you seconds… there is no problem with saying no. Ultimately, it is your body and your choices…especially if you are already full. Trust me, after you get over the first hurdle of saying no, you will feel immense power & definitely will feel like the bada$$ you are! 💪🏽💋
5- Don’t suffer from flat tire syndrome
The biggest problem with holiday season weight gain is the flat tire syndrome. “What is this?” I hear you ask. Well, flat tire syndrome is when you have one day of overeating, and then make it a whole week/month because you feel like all is lost because of that one day. A bit like slicing the other 3 tires of your car because you got ONE flat tire. It doesn’t make sense, does it? Exactly! ⚠️
So, if you had a day of overeating, don’t beat yourself up over it and keep on splurging. Start fresh the next day and get back on schedule drinking loads of water.
6- Don’t use exercise to justify eating all the food
Firstly, we are not dogs to be rewarded with food, and secondly most people grossly overestimate how many calories their exercise routine has burned, and underestimate the number of calories they actually eat.
Holiday Fun Fact- It is estimated the average person eats 5373 calories on Christmas day.
Just to put this into perspective an hour of jogging burns approximately 400 calories, so you would need to jog for a whopping 13 hours to match the caloric intake of your Christmas feast. Umm… no thanks! 🥵
It is also important to note that using exercise as a form of ‘’punishment’ for the food you have eaten or will eat can make you develop a very unhealthy relationship with food.
7- Pay attention to these calories
Calories from beverages are incredibly sneaky, and they can increase your daily calorie intake significantly if you don’t pay attention to them. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to consume upwards of 1000 calories a day from liquids in addition to food. To put that into perspective the US Dietary Guidelines recommends an average of 1600-2400 calories per day for women. So, the consumption of 1000 calories just from liquid can take up more than half of the daily recommended caloric intake.
Also, it is important to understand that alcohol has calories. Very often we see recommendations on mixers for alcohol and it is important to understand that alcohol itself has calories (7Kcal per gram). So, even if you use a calorie-free mixer like soda water, it does not mean that the drink is calorie-free. It just means that you are not consuming even MORE calories from a sugary mixer.
These tips are my favorite and most actionable ones, but I do think it is important to understand that if you have one meal that has a bit more calories in it, it won’t ruin your weight loss journey, the same way that eating one healthy meal won’t make you lose 10 lbs. So, if you have been consistent with your workouts and your Nutrition you shouldn’t be freaking out.
And, if you’ve been enjoying snacks and wine a bit too much (because online learning is a bish!) esp since lockdown took place… How about taking control of your fitness right now instead of waiting for next year? If you are ready to crush this holiday season looking and feeling your best, come join the 21-day mini shred which is starting this Friday (12/04).
21 Days of Fat Torching workouts and step-by-step result-driven meal plans that will put you in the driver’s seat of your fitness this holiday season!
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