3 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain without Torturing Yourself

Most assume that you have to detox, cleanse, and Whole-whatever yourself to avoid holiday weight gain and feeling extra fluffy when the calendar flips to January.  FALSE.

In fact, the effort of trying to “be good” around food can be the very thing that shoves you face-first into a PSL, a bucket of candy, or a pumpkin pie.

That’s because too much restriction backfires, increasing cravings and food FOMO (fear of missing out).  And, during the holidays, even mild restriction can feel like the walls are closing in, which triggers the drive to flee to the closest fridge or pantry.

The truth is that it sucks to try to be good around food and fail.  It also sucks to be good around food and miss all the yummy foods during the season of eating.  And it sucks to start a new year feeling like a busted can of biscuits.

So let’s set the stage for a different experience.  You don’t HAVE to put the blinders on and avoid all the sweets.  And you don’t HAVE to throw all caution to the wind, promising to start fresh in the new year.

You CAN find harmony with food, social engagements, holiday emotions, and anything else that pops up for you.  There are dozens of strategies.  Today, I’m sharing three of them.

3 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain without Torturing Yourself

 

  • Prioritize water, protein, and veggies as often as possible.  Water helps with cravings, energy, complexion, and so much more.  Protein takes longer to digest, fuels you for longer, and keeps your body happy.  Veggies keep you feeling full from the fiber, are nutrient-dense, and help to boost your immune system.  When you prioritize these, it simply means you consume those first and as often as you can.  It doesn’t mean that you avoid fat and carbs.  And it doesn’t mean to stay out of the candy either.  When you prioritize something, you make sure it happens.  Then the rest simply fills in the rest of your plate or appetite.  Putting water, protein, and veggies first is a simple strategy that can be used anywhere, anytime, without needing to track or count.
  • Schedule your sweets.  If you know you always want a little something sweet in the afternoon, then plan for it.  If you tend to have a hankering for something crunchy mid-morning, then allow it.  The more you try to white-knuckle your way through things you think you “shouldn’t” eat, the harder you will fall into the bag of candy corn.  When you KNOW you’ll get to have x, y, or z at a certain time or on certain days, then you don’t need to have it as soon as it pops into your brain.
  • Don’t try to compensate with exercise.  Yep, you read that correctly.  With all the fancy trackers and monitors, it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing how many calories you’ve eaten and think you need to counterbalance it with exercise.  Except that appetite is mostly driven by exercise.  Increase your exercise and you’ll simply require more food.  And you’ve still got candy staring you in face.  Also, too much exercise can actually increase cravings.  #truestory  The more you try to counteract with exercise, the harder it is to actually manage cravings and appetite.  That’s a fast way to make you crazy.  And tired.  And grumpy.  Instead, stick to your normal schedule.  And if it’s challenging to do even that because the holidays are super busy, simply do what you can, even if it’s a walk on your lunch break or 60 seconds of squats a few times a day.   Dance parties in the kitchen are good, too!

As you can see, you don’t need to take drastic measures to avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain.  It’s actually easier than you think to walk between the thoughts of “being good” and eating all the things.  You can find a place of harmony and enjoy the sweet sound of your pants still zipping up at the end of the year.

If you’d like more tips on how to feel better physically and mentally this holiday season, join me a FREE 6-week guide:  short on reading time but big on impact.  I know you are busy, so these will save you time and effort.  (And money, too, because they are free!)

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