Looking to Avoid (the dreaded) Holiday Weight Gain? Then NOW is the time to plan and prepare.
If you’re like most people, the time between Halloween and Christmas is when you’re most likely to put on the dreaded ‘jelly belly’.
In fact, a A Prospective Study of Holiday Weight Gain took 195 subjects and weighed them during 3 critical periods: Pre-Holiday (from late September to mid-November), Holiday (November to January) and Post-Holiday (January to March).
In the summary, they concluded that it was the Holiday period when the highest amount of weight was gained.
Not only that, the study went on to report that this extra holiday weight gain was not reduced even after the following spring and summer months.
This spells double trouble for long term fat loss.
However, there are things you can do, starting today, to Avoid (the dreaded) Holiday Weight Gain.
I personally follow the strategies I am about to share with you, which is how I am able to stay at my desired weight (and health) all throughout the year.
The best part is I don’t feel deprived in anyway or that I’m missing out and You can too!
How DO I eat the large meal at Christmas or New Years without gaining?
Find out and follow my Top 5 Tips below so you can maintain your weight this season too!
Avoid (the dreaded) Holiday Weight Gain: My Top 5 Tips
Below are my 5 Tips to keep the extra weight off during the Holiday Season.
Tip #1: Tap into your WHY
Tapping into your WHY, means really thinking about WHY you want to be Fit and Healthy.
What is YOUR reason? To help figure this out, do this 5 Step exercise:
5 Step Exercise to figure out your WHY to getting (and staying) Fit n Healthy.
To do this exercise, grab a pen and piece of paper, notebook or journal and it have next to you.
Step 1: Close your eyes and think about what your life would be like being Fit and Healthy.
What are you doing?
What do you look like?
Who are you influencing?
How are your relationships with your loved ones?
Who is complementing you?
How do you feel?
How are you handling your day to day stress?
Step 2: Open your eyes and write these thoughts down under the heading
My life being Fit n Healthy
Step 3: Now close your eyes again and think about what your life would be like NOT being Fit and Healthy.
What are your thoughts, first thing in the morning?
How do you look?
How does your body feel?
Are you the role model you’d like to be?
How are you handling your day to day stress?
Step 4: Open your eyes and write these thoughts down under the heading
My life NOT being Fit n Healthy
Step 5: Where do you want to be starting now?
See it, believe it, be it now!
For me, I personally like to feel strong, have energy from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, and be a great influence for my family and others.
I also like to feel good in my own body.
This is my WHY. What’s yours?
Next up to Avoid (the dreaded) holiday weight gain: My Top 5 Tips – is Tip #2
Tip #2: Fed Well, Fast Well
Feeding well, the Fit n Healthy way, means focusing on a ‘nutrient-rich’, seasonal way of eating.
Here’s why I don’t focus on calorie counting.
Let really take a good look at it……
It’s coming into the winter season, the snow has just fallen and I want you to think of how you feel, sipping on a rich bowl of creamy chicken vegetable soup.
Now, think of how you would feel with consuming 2 pieces plain, regular toast.
Both contain roughly the same amount of calories.
Compared to the 2 pieces of regular toast, the bowl of creamy chicken vegetable soup is jammed packed with mineral rich gelatin, health promoting vegetables, and strength building protein.
Whereas the 2 pieces of plain, regular toast are an irritant to your gut, quickly raise blood sugar to increase your waistline and likely not satisfying or satiating to say the least!
Bottom line: it is not about the ‘calories’ that the food contains.
It is about what information the food gives to the body that really matters.
This information is in the form of what path the food actually takes in the body. Calorie counting is NOT how we get to optimal body composition and health.
Instead, it is about the quality of foods you take in, along with when and how much.
For a more detailed description on how to feed your body well, read my article , How to Eat to Get Slim and Sexy for Summer and pay close attention to my section on ‘Create your Healthy Meals in 4 Simple Steps’.
So, after we’ve FED OURSELVES WELL, WE NEED TO FAST OURSELVES WELL
Fasting well means a time when you don’t eat.
Practice Intermittent fasting.
Setting a daily practice of Intermittent Fasting is one of the easiest and fastest ways to become a long term, efficient fat burner. When you are fasting, you’re essentially relying on your own body’s extra fat stores to be used for energy.
There are many ways to practice Intermittent fasting, but I find the easiest way is simply not eating for 14 to 16 hours from DINNER to BREAKFAST.
For more ways, check out Jason Fung’s new book, “The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal your body through intermittent, alternate day, and extended fasting“.
It turns out, amazing things happen when we don’t eat for 14 + hrs. Our body has a chance to do some ‘housecleaning’ otherwise known as autophagy.
Autophagy literally means the, ‘destruction of damaged or redundant cellular components occurring in vacuoles within the cell’.
Autophagy makes way for new, healthy, vibrant cells to be born.
Not only that, our weight loss, anti aging hormones (growth hormone, glucagon and adiponectin) go up.
When this happens, our fat storage hormone goes down (glucose), which is exactly what we want.
When glucose goes down, so does our stored body fat.
With no glucose kicking around for fuel, your body then looks for a different fuel source.
That fuel source is ketones. Ketones have gotten a lot of publicity these days, and for good reason.
Research shows ketones heal the brain, reduce inflammation and turn on our SIRT1 longevity gene.
I did a whole 2 part article on how Inflammation is the key driver to unsightly belly fat. So check it out!
Bottom line: getting into ‘ketosis’ burns fat, fuels our brains, and helps us look and feel more youthful.
An easy way to get the benefits of ‘ketosis’ is to keep yourself fasted by including MCT or cold pressed, virgin coconut oil in with your organic coffee or organic green tea. Doing so keeps you IN ketosis for all the benefits that I’ve just described.
Next up to Avoid (the dreaded) holiday weight gain: My Top 5 Tips – is Tip #3
Tip #3: Talk a morning walk (on an empty stomach)
Another easy way to step up your weight loss, or avoid holiday weight gain, is to start the morning with a 20 min walk on an empty stomach (fasted).
Walking, in a fasted state keeps you burning fat for longer.
Taking your walk, especially after your morning coffee or green tea, has been shown to increase your metabolism by up to 11% Practicing this a few times a week can really make a difference to your long term fat loss goals.
Doing so also is a great way to train your body to use ‘fat as fuel’ instead of using the other source – glucose,
Being able to switch between these two fuel sources (fat and glucose) is KEY for long term fat loss.
Just be prepared that up regulating your metabolism to burn fat can take time (roughly 4-6 weeks) and doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s a process called, fat adaptation. However, be patient with yourself. Being consistent with your new found healthy habit is how to Avoid (the dreaded) Holiday Weight Gain.
Next up to Avoid (the dreaded) holiday weight gain: My Top 5 Tips – is Tip #4
Tip #4: Have a protein rich breakfast and save your ‘starchy’ carbs for your evening meal
When it’s time for breakfast, choosing a protein rich breakfast can help to keep insulin, our fat storage hormone down. Adding about 1 to 2 tbsp of added healthy fats like coconut oil or grass fed butter will also help here too.
Insulin is our ‘fat storage’ hormone, so anytime it’s elevated, your ability to burn fat stops right in it’s tracks! Period!
Insulin is highly responsive to glucose. So anything that drive glucose up (grains, fruits, sugar, pastries, low fat milk or yogurt, bread, etc) will also drive up your weight.
Some are better then others (ie whole fruits better then whole wheat bread), but they ALL go to glucose in the blood.
Independant to insulin, your body does an incredible job keeping blood sugar stable through a process known as gluconeurogenisis (the regulation of blood sugar through your liver).
Evidence points to how our body doesn’t actually have any requirements for carbohydrates. This concept was the genesis to the popular Ketogenic Diet, successfully used on patients with Diabetic Type 2 and Epilepsy.
The idea is your body can do just fine with a diet full of quality proteins (15-30%), quality fats (70-80%) and some carbohydrates (5-10%).
I do believe there is value in adopting a Ketogenic Diet, at strategic times, and incorporate it into your seasonal way of eating.
December will be jam packed with details on the Ketogenic Diet where I take a deep dive into what it is, how to do it, and when to incorporate.
So, to keep things simple and avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain, have a good amount of protein (at least 25 grams) with some added fat (about 1 tbsp) for breakfast. Add in a little carbohydrates from plants, just make sure these are ‘above ground’ veggies (like kale or broccoli) or ‘low sugar’ whole fruits (like blueberries).
Some good breakfast examples include:
Organic, free range eggs with or without added pasture-raised bacon + a side of last nights stir fried veggies or colorful salad rich in healthy fats.
Or, a smoothie made with colorful berries, coconut milk, and a couple scoops of protein powder.
For a great smoothie recipes that burns fat, check out my Berry Delicious Green Smoothie.
Eating protein and fat during the day and saving the carbohydrates for your evening meal will allow your glucose to drop, ketones to rise and you to enjoy the benefits of burning fat for energy.
However, if you do the opposite and have some carbs at breakfast and lunch and then a big evening carb meal, you will NOT get the lower glucose numbers and elevated ketones.
Which, in the end, you continue to be a ‘sugar burner’ and not the desired ‘fat burner’.
If we look back, historically, we have been focusing on eating our larger meal around dinner. This is when everyone gathered around at the end of the day, connected and all ate together.
The next day was a smaller breakfast, sometimes even a simple siesta around lunchtime, and again, a larger meal at dinner.
This was the typical way with the Romans, Greeks, and most European cultures.
In fact, this is the preferred way with my family as well (all electronics OFF the table and put away please!!!).
The science behind a big meal at night: Eating properly stimulates the parasympathetic system (our ‘rest and digest’ part of the nervous system), which drops our cortisol levels to relax and put us in sleep mode. Having a deep, restorative sleep means we burn fat while we sleep too.
Keeping in mind, we don’t want to eat TOO much, drown in artificial light (TV, computers, phones), have a hot bath or work out right before bed time.
Here is the caution: if you do begin practicing intermittent fasting and don’t eat a bigger meal at night, then your body thinks it’s starving, keeps you up and you end up staying at the same frustrating weight.
So make sure you eat a good sized meal about 3 hrs before bedtime by following my healthy eating guidelines found in my article , How to Eat to Get Slim and Sexy for Summer
Next up to Avoid (the dreaded) holiday weight gain: My Top 5 Tips – is the final Tip #5
Tip #5: Detox
Detox is one of the most important steps you can take to Avoid (the dreaded) Holiday Weight Gain.
Just think about it. A lot of excess waste is being accumulated from all your food intake and it’s literally located behind your belly button.
So, if you want a nice attractive waist line to fit in that gorgeous holiday dress or handsome suit, you’ve got to make sure that you’re not all backup in there causing belly bloat!
DETOX is very simple:
Make sure you start your day with 1 litre of filtered water BEFORE or along with your morning organic coffee or organic green tea. Drink your water always away from meals.
To allow for 1-3 good sized bowl movements per day, incorporate non-starchy, fibrous carbs (just think of above ground vegetables like kale, radishes, peppers (all colors), broccoli, and celery). Remember to save your starchy carbs for your evening meal (think of below the ground veggies or properly prepared grains, beans or legumes).
Enjoying a little fermented foods prior to your evening meal will also aid in proper bowel movements along with about 300 mg of magnesium. I like magnesium glycinate.
Above and beyond using foods, I highly recommend doing a safe and easy detox. The one that I perform regularly is using a method called Biotherapeutic Drainage.
I found such great benefit from incorporating it into my own health strategy (for optimal immune, body composition, and hormone balance) that I became a Certified Biotherapeutic Drainage Practitioner
I include it as part of my Nutritional Programs for my personal clients and have been practicing this form of detox for about 7 years now with remarkable, fast results. The UNDAS (homeopathic detox drops) work right away to clear away the toxins so the body can do it’s own healing.
Many clients find it easier to drop their weight, let go of their body pain, and fix their digestion. You can find many success stories here.
For more information on Biotherapeutic Drainage and how I can help you with a safe and easy detox, click here
Toxins are pretty scary = they are all around us, they are invisible and can cause a lot of harm if we don’t take steps to eliminate them from our bodies. The great news is there are ways to detox where you actually FEEL GOOD while detoxing and even better after.
Just a word of caution: if you have done a detox and you’ve felt horrible, that is a detox that has gone wrong! Properly done detox is when you free up your liver, kidneys and gut to get the toxins OUT! Feeling horrible is a sign that the toxins, that you are attempting to get out, are actually staying IN. Not what you want!
Well, that’s it for now.
I truly hope you’ve found this article: Avoid (the dreaded) Holiday Weight Gain: My Top 5 Tips helpful.
If so, please share this with your friend and family or write your comments below.
Here’s to having a Fit n Healthy Holiday Season!
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