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Have a Zero Gain Holiday

Halloween is behind us and the food holidays are upon us! From the end of October to New Year’s Day the food, fun and festivities never seem to stop. From polishing off the Halloween candy (well into November), to toasting the New Year with food and drink, most people easily gain one or two pounds over the holidays.

It may not seem like much, but over time that one or two pounds can easily add up. Holiday weight gain slowly creeps up over the years and stays on if there is no conscious push back. Let's do the math. One pound per year starting at age 25 adds up to 30 pounds of weight by the time age 55 rolls around! That's about the time people walk into my office asking for help.

Most people become consumed with work, life, family and busy schedules and put weight loss on the back burner. Making a priority to not gain in the first place is a good strategy. It’s so much easier to lose that extra pound or two by the end of January, then try to lose many pounds a few years from now when it becomes even harder!

That’s why I would like to issue a friendly challenge! The challenge is for zero weight gain by the end of January and the close of the holiday season.

Asking anyone to “go on a diet” over the holidays is absolute nonsense. But avoiding the food and drink coma of regret (usually on more than one occasion) makes sense and most won’t argue that point. Making a commitment to mindfully make the best food choices possible, and practicing some good self-care this holiday season is a win-win strategy and can lead to zero gain.

Who knows, if you don't gain weight over the holidays, you just may need a NEW resolution this January! Here are some tips to help:

Plan Ahead for Holiday Parties:

  • Don’t bank calories or starve yourself leading up to a party or celebration. It will only kill your will power and trigger over-eating.

  • Make the best choice from the food provided. Skip the bread and simple carbs and choose real foods that contain protein, fiber, vegetables and healthy fats.

  • Bring a healthy offering with you.

Get plenty of rest:

  • Sleep deprivation causes over-eating and increases stress hormones.

  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep when possible.

Manage stress:

  • Make time for a “quiet” moment. Stop, sit down and take a few deep breaths.

  • Practice letting go - things don’t have to be perfect!

  • Simplify and ask for help if you need it.

  • Just say NO. It’s a complete sentence.

Again, just say NO:

  • It’s ok to decline a second serving or accept food or drink that you know will not agree with you and set you back.

Stay active and exercise:

  • Exercise helps to burn calories and to reduce stress so stay committed to your routine.

  • Walk more, sit less and take a brisk walk after a holiday meals.

Stay hydrated:

  • Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages are dehydrating. If you indulge, drink an 8-ounce glass of water for every alcoholic or caffeinated beverage you consume.

  • Don’t drink your calories - stay away from sugary soda, alcohol and coffee drinks.

Moderation, moderation, moderation!

  • Don’t deprive yourself. Have some of the foods you enjoy but be aware of eating/drinking sensible portions and choosing the healthiest options.

  • Be as mindful as possible. Ask yourself – am I making the best choice? How will I feel after I eat/do/say this? Will this food/situation/relationship nourish me physically/emotionally/spiritually?

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. Good luck and let me know how you do in the comments!

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