Worried about Gaining Holiday Weight?

lifestyle wellness Dec 15, 2021

When the Christmas and New Years seasons roll around, the most common thing I hear from my clients is:

"How do I avoid gaining the holiday weight?"

"Is there really any way to enjoy the holidays AND not gain weight?"

"Do I have to choose one or the other?"

My answer around the holidays and every other time of the for that matter is HELL YES. There is a way to enjoy AND not pack on the pounds. Both AND. Because it's the week of Christmas, I want to keep this short and sweet to make sure you get some good tips in not a lot of time. Today, I'm sharing THREE — yep, just three — ways that you probably don't even know can help you stave off extra weight around the holiday season (and year-round!).

Shake, Shake, SHAKE!

Have a morning shake. No matter what time of the year, this is my favorite breakfast because I'm not usually super hungry in the mornings, but it is the best way to balance my blood sugar and ensure I'm getting all of the nutrients I need to manage my weight. Please DON'T skip breakfast, thinking you can get extra calories in later that day or at your holiday party. That just makes your body hold on to more weight because it goes into fight or flight mode because of dysregulated blood sugar. The type of shake that I'm a fan of stabilizes blood sugar, thereby reducing (and in some cases eliminating) sugar cravings, reducing inflammation, and boosting your energy levels. Less inflammation equals less bloating and just like that, you're fitting into that cute dress you bought for the party tonight seamlessly!

By consistently feeding your body (not skipping meals and not snacking all day) and giving it what it needs (protein, fat, carbs, and fiber from whole foods), you encourage it to maintain and lose weight. So try a daily shake in your routine. Whether it's the holidays or not, it's my favorite way to start the day! You can include holiday festive ingredients like this mint chip shake, and make sure you're adding a good quality protein powder like this one from Moon Juice to keep you feeling fuller, longer!

Some of my favorite, comfort food dishes are on my site, and I encourage you to make some this holiday season. I’ll leave them linked here:

Vegan Jambalaya

Plant-based Mac and Cheese

Chili and Cornbread

PB Oatmeal Cookies

Twist it out

Yoga might burn fewer calories than a high-intensity cardio workout, but as I've said so MANY times, losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is not about the calorie calculation. Instead, it's about resetting your hormones. One of the main reasons women gain weight is because of high cortisol — the main stress hormone — and yoga and meditation reduce cortisol and make you feel at peace. When you feel calmer, you're more likely to make healthy food choices.

Research shows that the combination of yoga and meditation improves BMI, body weight, body fat, and waist circumference. To integrate some WBK yoga in a few times during the week during the holidays and keep that routine ongoing. You'll feel better, act better and eat better.

Take a sip... of water

Most of us tend to drink MORE around the holidays. Not only is that more calories, but it's more sugar than causes inflammation (hello weight gain) and more of a burden on your liver. My biggest recommendation is to alternate each cocktail or glass of wine with a glass of water. Alcohol pokes holes in your gut lining (more inflammation). Since three servings or more of alcohol raises a woman's risk of breast cancer and increases weight really quickly, schedule your drinks and enjoy them without going over that magic number.

Mindset over the holidays when it comes to food is super important! Stop focusing on all the holiday foods you shouldn't eat and instead, focus on the amazing things you can enjoy that are truly nutritious. There are so many foods that you can add to your plate or make swaps for! I like telling people, if you want a Christmas cookie, make it with gluten-free flour, non-dairy milk, and monk fruit sweetener instead of sugar! I serve a huge vegetable crudites with a delicious vegan dip for appetizers. I recommend treating yourself to fats instead of sugar because, unlike sweets, whole-food fat leaves you feeling satisfied instead of triggering a response to keep eating.

When you are going to have a treat, plan it! Don't have a weak moment where you have two Christmas morning cinnamon rolls and an egg sandwich. Do your treats 20% of the time and plan them out. When you do go for it, be in the moment. Notice how it tastes and how you feel while eating it. Notice when your taste and your fullness peak and stop there.

Weight loss and weight maintenance don't exist in a vacuum of calorie-intake-versus-calorie-burn. Instead, they are a result of your entire lifestyle. By including a shake in your day, as well as a bit of yoga and thinking about your alcohol intake, you'll reach for healthy foods more of the time, and FEEL and look your best!