This year, promise yourself that you’re going to avoid holiday weight gain. It happens every year, you dread it, it makes you feel guilty every time you indulge in your favorite treats, and it makes you feel heavy, ugly, tired, and beaten down by the time the new year begins. Not this year! You may not lose any extra pounds throughout the season of celebrations but at least you don’t need to add any new ones.
Yes, You CAN Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
If you’re already shaking your head, thinking that it’s impossible to avoid holiday weight gain without making serious sacrifices that you’re just not realistically willing to make, then please, keep reading. You’re about to discover that it is perfectly possible for you to go from today until the new year without gaining the 5 to 10 pounds the typical American packs on during these few weeks. Even better, you can do so without skipping that slice of pumpkin pie, without enduring a single tablespoon of creepy low-fat gravy, and without having to insult grandma by refusing to eat a single one of her made-with-love traditional Christmas cookies.
At the same time, you won’t have to suffer the frustration, guilt and self-loathing that comes from telling yourself that you’re going to lose body fat throughout this season while watching it rapidly climb on instead.
Use These Top Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain This Year
These tips are designed for real-life, practical, doable changes that you can make to the way you celebrate the holidays without feeling deprived, disappointed, or guilty along the way.
Step 1: Decide TODAY!
You are out of time. You need to decide today that you are going to avoid holiday weight gain. For that, you need a plan.
Step 2: Have a Plan
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you’re about to stick to a crazy structured lifestyle for the next six weeks or so. Very few people can do that successfully. The whole point to this strategy is to be realistic. So, sit down and create a plan for yourself. Add it to your schedule and stick to it. What should the plan include? Keep reading!
Step 3: Be Active Every Day
Go for a walk, lift some hand weights while you watch your favorite Christmas movie, Do some yoga or Pilates. Do something active every single day. Plan ahead so you know what you will be doing. If you think your days are just too busy, then do your workout first thing in the morning before things get crazy. Then it’s done and you can move on with the day. Don’t have time for a half hour? Do two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute activities. Schedule it in and give it the same priority as going to work or picking up Aunt Maggie at the airport. Do it and cross it off on the calendar so you’ll feel good about it.
Step 4: Eat Smart Most Days
One of the most important things about a great strategy to avoid holiday weight gain is that the holidays are actually only on specific calendar days. There are a few additional parties and celebrations in between, but most days are actually normal days. So, treat them that way! Not only will that make the celebration days more fun, because you’re not all Christmassed out by December 1, but it’s better for your physical, mental and emotional wellness.
Step 5: Plan Your Meals
If you find yourself regularly falling back on take-out or highly processed heat-and-eat meals when things start getting busy, then start planning your meals right now. In fact, start cooking your meals right now. Get that Instant Pot or slow cooker working with large batches of meals that you can portion into your fridge and freezer. That way, when you’re too busy to make something homemade, you’ll already have something homemade.
Step 6: Freeze Leftovers (Easily a Top Tip to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain)
If you’re about to say: “but wait, it’s the leftovers that get me”, then stop right there. You can avoid holiday weight gain from continually eating leftovers by freezing them. Everything from turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy to casseroles and even cookies, brownies and fudge all freeze well.
Get your plastic containers and zipper bags ready because you are about to start portioning out the excess you have left after large meals (or that is sent home with you from loving family members who adore feeding you) and add it to your freezer so you can choose a more appropriate time to eat it. Instead of racing against the clock before it’s not good anymore, you can have a ready-made dish or a little cookie treat in the new year instead.