Are you looking for ways to avoid holiday weight gain while still enjoying the treats of the season? Read on for 3 simple yet effective ways to make sure you stay on track with your healthy eating and weight loss goals through the end of this year.
How to Lose (or Maintain) Weight in November and December
If you are like me, the holidays are wonderful, fun time with family (Christmas with 5 kids! Awesome!), but also a challenging season. The days are exhausting with so much to do.
Workouts and healthy food plans fall by the wayside. Plus there are Christmas parties, holiday baking, church events and more.
How will you get through the season without gaining weight?
Here are 3 easy yet highly effective ways to avoid adding pounds during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holidays.
Encouragement to End Holiday Overeating
As someone who is maintaining a 100 lb weight loss, let me give you two encouragements:
- Healthy habits get easier with practice. The holidays used to be a total land-mine of weight gain for me. Even after I had lost weight, I pretty much went into a tailspin of overeating from the end of November through January. But each year has gotten a little better as I’ve learned what works for me. Try new strategies during this season and find what works well for you to build your own toolkit of healthy habits.
- Something is better than nothing. In our Faithful Finish Lines 2.0 membership, we often talk about focusing on one small change at a time. Please don’t think, “Oh, what’s one more,” or “There’s no point in working out for 5 minutes.” Not true! Every little healthy choice counts.
3 Holiday Eating Tips to Prevent Weight Gain
Yes, the holidays are a time of food temptations, but that doesn’t mean you have to gain weight. Many Americans gain 3-5 pounds during the holiday season. Make sure you keep your weight the same, or even lose a pound or two, with these strategies.
1. Sit down to eat.
Create this affirmation for yourself, “I only eat sitting down.”
Sit down to eat the cookie dough (or the cookies, or the candy).
I love raw cookie dough. Go ahead and laugh at me on this one, but it’s the truth. I could easily eat a whole batch and the family would never see a baked cookie.
I used to eat so much cookie dough every December, I felt sick. Now, I tell myself I can have some, but I have to sit down to eat it. I even put it on a little plate. Instead of pretending I’m not really eating it (ha!) I make it a clear and conscious choice that I’m having some, but I’m not going to binge on it.
How much raw cookie dough or other cooking bites do you consume standing at the kitchen counter, while baking, and basically pretending you aren’t really eating it? The reason why keeping a food log (or tracking what you eat on an app like My Fitness Pal or WW) works for weight loss is because it makes you aware of your choices.
2. Create a party strategy.
Before you head into a party, holiday get-together or work event in December, come up with a game plan in advance for how you will handle the food and alcohol. Check out this post for the full details of how to create a party strategy.
Do parties and get-togethers make you a little nervous? You aren’t the only one. Plan to find one person at the event who needs a friend. Who needs a listening ear or maybe just someone so they don’t feel so alone at this gathering? You be that person!
I’ve been going into parties and get-togethers with this mind-set for several years now, and it’s been amazing. I’ve met some of the best people, I don’t feel as nervous, and most of the time I don’t even think about the food.
3. Move 5 minutes more each day in November and December.
Add in 5 additional minutes of movement every day this month.
Set an alarm on your smartphones for 5 minutes at noon every day this week. Try crunches, yoga poses, stretching at your desk, walking stairs, or a short walk outside. Don’t worry about making this anything extreme or crazy. Just move.
Done every day, that’s 35 minutes for the week or a whole extra workout. Not only will you burn off some excess calories, you will do less overeating because a daily, consistent reminder in the middle of your day will improve your healthy mindset.
These easy techniques will help you stop holiday overeating and avoid gaining weight this year. Sit down to eat that cookie dough, focus on giving to someone else at holiday parties, and add in 5 minutes of intentional movement. Then see how much better you feel in January.
How do you avoid holiday weight gain? Share about it in the comments below.
The Holy Mess 3 Day Diet Plan
Do you want a quick, easy way to shed a few pounds before the holiday season begins? Check out The Holy Mess 3 Day Weight Loss Diet.
Can 3 days really make that much difference? YES! We led a group of 130 women (most over the age of 50 years old) through this program and they lose 2-10 pounds in just 3 days, all while eating delicious foods they loved.
Get the free 3 day diet weight loss meal plan and grocery list here.
Sandi SMITH says
Good advice for the holidays or at any time. The holidays have always been stressful for me. I always overeat. Looking forward to making changes this year.
I love the idea of only eating when sitting down. I just finished eating a banana while walking to computer. I probably would have enjoyed it more and been more aware of eating it if I had been sitting at the table and eating it. I’ll start working on it today!!
Shannah Hudson says
I love reading your blog!
MARIE I BUNGARD says
Truth! I found this quite helpful. Since I often eat while cooking I keep carrots or something healthy to much on near. It has really helped my dieting efforts.
Abbie L. says
Thank you so much for the helpful tips and for the awesome giveaway! It will be such a blessing to whomever wins!
This will come in handy this year thanks for sharing these helpful tips regarding holiday weight gain.
I like the idea of setting a clock and doing just 5 mins a day of exercise. It does equal an extra workout! I can even do 10-15 mins a day to add more!
Such great ideas. it is definitely going to be a lot harder to not over eat this holiday season. Thanks for the suggestions!!
Viv Sluys says
I guess not over-eating this holiday season will be a little easier since we won’t be going to parties or events! I don’t sit at all while doing cookies so that tip will work great for me. I don’t even like sugar cookie dough but always find myself snitching it anyway 🙁 (gingerbread cookies though…that’s another story!)
I saw this on Pinterest and had to read it! lol. I like the idea for #3. I know I’ve been having a hard time with eating as I bake, but I will try and add some more movement and exercise to my day. I’ve been making two desserts to take places, one that is healthier so that I won’t feel so bad eating it. That way I’ll know that there will be something I am allowed. So glad I came across your blog!