Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

When the holiday music begins playing right after Halloween do you cringe with anxiety? I do! I swear my cells start to expand as emotional eating kicks in from all the stress that comesStressed santa with the season? Over the years I have developed some handy ways to avoid holiday weight gain and keep my waistline from looking like Santa’s.

Check below for all of the ways I’ve found that help keep me and my clients looking awesome while dashing from social event to event, to avoid holiday weight gain, enjoy the holidays more, reduce stress, repair relationships, and even let go of toxic thoughts and feelings.

It is often reported that the average person gains about five pounds every holiday season! This may be a bit of an exaggeration - the real number being closer to a solid pound of fat. If you add one pound of fat every Christmas you are going to become obese before you even realize it! And that’s not a very nice Christmas present to gift yourself. That’s why it is important to know the best ways to avoid weight gain.

I completely understand why weight is gained this time of year, you are busy, stressed, routines are changed, and everyone seems to be Betty Crocker smothering you with delicious treats that are calling your name. What good is a New Year’s Resolution if you are perfect, right? That’s why Christmas treats were invented- to derail us and make sure we take time to reevaluate our life choices.

As someone who has struggled with eating issues for decades here are some ways I have found to cope with high stress times and limit emotional eating. 

In no particular order:

  1. Visiting family can be rough and might bring up old toxic thoughts, which can lead to emotional eating like binging late at night when everyone has gone to sleep. I enjoy this quote from Jonathan Lockwood Huie when coming into contact with family and others that have been difficult in the past to deal with. “Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” Don’t give others your power - especially if it means turning your awesome body into a flabby mess.
  2. Take some time out of your day to sit for 5-10 minutes and do some mindful meditation. I adore Mary Maddux from MeditationOasis.com. Her website has both short and long guided meditations that really help me relax, so much so that I usually end up asleep if I’m not careful.Mindful meditation to avoid weight gain
  3. Write down what you are feeling and why you are feeling that way. You might find a hidden stressor. Get a pretty journal and jot down all the thoughts that come to you. If you are worried about someone finding it and reading it then I recommend an app called Grid Diary, which you can get at the app store on your mobile device. If you can automate some of your work tasks, it helps reduce stress, DailyMynd has done me wonders!
  4. I have this little device that I clip on my bra called a Spire, which tracks my breathing. It tracks if I am calm, focused, stressed or haven’t taken a deep breath in a certain amount of time, and then alerts me according to my settings. I have been wearing it for over a year and love how it alarms me to stressors that I wasn’t aware of previously. You can get it at Spire.io for $99 currently.
  5. Bring your own food to potluck style events. I bring my own prepared food in addition to something to I can share with others. If a more formal dinner is being served I call ahead to see what they are serving. If I can’t eat it I ask if I can bring my own, unless they have an alternative that suits my needs. Remember, there is no reason other people’s meal choices should have to impact your health. You have the power to say, “No”, and either refrain from eating or else bring something of your own choosing and have it served the same time when everyone else is eating. People might question you when the dinner begins, but don’t worry about it, just smile and eat. If eating and being healthy is new to you and your friends don’t worry, they will get used to your new ways.
  6. Pre-eat before going to an event. If you know the event is just going to be cocktails and hors d’oeuvres then eat beforehand and have tea or sparling water with a twist. It never looks good to stand up and walk around eating so skip it and the calories associated with it. If you are really tempted then stand in a corned of the room where you can’t see the food and engage in a good conversation. The food will be off your mind in no time.
  7. Think of a week of calories not a day. If you overdo it one day then reduce your intake the following day or two to balance it out.
  8. Holiday party to avoid gaining weight 
  9. Make sure your holiday drinking doesn’t foil your healthy holiday plans.
  10. And finally, the best way to avoid holiday weight gain is usually to avoid the wrong kinds of people during the holidays.

I hope these tips are helpful for you this holiday season - or any time of the year - to stay healthy and avoid holiday weight gain.