Now that we’re well into the holiday season, and you have a few pumpkin pies and cookies under your belt, you may be scouring the internet for the latest tips on how to lose the holiday weight, how to strengthen your willpower against the almighty buttery mashed potatoes, or you may be looking for a cleanse or detox system that can help you burn those extra calories overnight.
I got something better for ya…
Here’s why the standard advice rarely ever works
Let’s be real here for a moment…when that holiday dinner arrives, or you attend yet another party, you may very well have every intention in the world to watch your portion sizes, go for a walk right after dinner, have only one or two cocktails, and to stay away from certain fatty dishes. That’s all great and awesome until you’re facing 6 different kinds of pies, 5 casseroles, 4 different pans of cookies, an open bar, and beautifully decorated bowl after bowl of flaky butter rolls.
Even though the true meaning of the holiday season sometimes gets forgotten due to the overwhelming buffet of dishes (and you know, Black Friday), it’s really important to remember that this season is a time to be thankful, to be grateful for all that you have, and a time to share that abundance with the people you love and care for. It is not a season to spend stressing and feeling guilty about the food you’re eating.
When you set the restriction to only eat certain amounts and to avoid certain dishes, you spend the day in a power struggle between eating what you want, and your intention. The fact that you’re setting restrictions for yourself actually makes you want to go against them. It becomes a day of struggling against your willpower, and then if you do give in, you spend the rest of the time full of guilt and most likely internally beating yourself up.
So I don’t want you spending your holiday like this! Many of us already spend the rest of the year being so hard on ourselves and feeling guilty over the food choices we make, the holiday season is not another time for this. It’s time to shift the focus from your body to your soul. It’s time to focus on the meaning behind this magical and beautiful season not the number on your scale.
Your holiday game plan
By having a game plan in place that takes care of your weight concerns, you can then take your weight gain worries right out of the equation! This frees you up to really enjoy this time for what it should be: warmth, comfort, family, love, and gratitude.
By setting in place a few guidelines and following through with them, you won’t have to worry about this one day derailing your hard work and packing on the pounds.
Follow these next four guidelines for the THREE days around whatever indulgent event/party/gathering your will be attending. If you can, implement these guidelines the day before, day of, and day after your feast. With these guidelines and you can forget stressing over the holiday weight and instead focus on the true meaning of the season.
1. For these three days, give your workouts a little more oomph!
You hear time and time again to go for a walk after dinner to help burn some calories, but since we’re being honest here, who wants to go for a walk when they’re in a food coma? After the party/dinner, you can find me asleep on the living room floor, and that’s perfectly okay! It’ll be the most enjoyable nap ever! Why? Because I know I have my workout guidelines set in place so that these extra calories will get burned off in their due time. All you have to do is increase the intensity of your workout by just a little bit. If you normally go for a run, make it slightly longer or increase your pace. If you usually take a dance class, maybe drop it a little hotter, or put a little more bounce in your step. If you weight train, increase the weight by a few of pounds. There’s no need for hours after hours of marathon workouts. All you have to do is give your regular workout a bit more oomph! Take it up just a few notches, make it 20-30 minutes longer, lift heavier, burpee harder, or just move a little more overall. You get the picture.
2. Power up with green tea.
For the next three mornings, make yourself a big pot of green tea, and sip it throughout the day. If you want a quick and effective way to burn some fat with minimal effort, green tea is your holy grail. Green Tea contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) a very potent antioxidant. This antioxidant increases fat oxidation by 33 percent. 33% more fat burn just from drinking tea? Heck yeah! EGCG inhibits fat cell development, increases fat excretion, and revs ups your metabolism. To help counter the “feet” taste that some people say about green tea, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice.
3. Drink 70 oz of water.
Most of us don’t drink enough water, and we especially need it now because of all the extra sodium we consumed. Drinking 70 ounces of water will help flush out the excess water weight and get rid of the food baby bloat. As a bonus, this consistent hydration will also help keep your appetite under control and your cravings at bay.
4. Say no to leftovers and doggy bags.
One day of overeating won’t obliterate your waistline (especially if you follow these guidelines) but the same can’t be said for overindulging every single day for weeks on end. Enjoy yourself while you’re at your event. Enjoy everything that they have there, but keep it to that day only. Taking leftovers home and continuing the overeating and excess calorie consumption will make it much harder for you to lose that weight. Especially considering most of us don’t just have one dinner to attend, but multiple holiday parties. Taking leftovers with you will ensure you don’t give your body a break from the constant indulgences and extra calories. One pound is much easier to lose than 5. Also, there are worse things than weight gain. By constantly eating these indulgent foods and not giving your body a break between celebrations, all that sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, soy, etc ends up making you feel tired, moody, bloated, can cause digestive issues, inflammation, joint pain and can rob you of your natural energy and good mood. So limit yourself to that particular party and say no to leftovers.
There you have it – a holiday game plan so you can take your focus off of your body, and instead, focus on what truly matters – being with family and friends, delighting in delicious food, and feeling so full of gratitude for these blessings and these privileges that not everyone gets to have.
As a highly sought-after writer and nutritionist, she's collaborated with over 100 clients and written a couple dozen books and best-selling programs. Her ghostwriting has been used on tv shows, by celebrity trainers, fitness icons, and Law of Attraction manifesting mavens. When she’s not creating humorous content (that often contains four-letter words) you can find her sampling obscene amounts of chocolate and wine without a trace of shame.