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8 Steps to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Written exclusively for Xyience.com (Manzen, LLC) by ChristinasFitness.com, 2012.

The holidays are here and so are the cravings! With promotional commercials featuring delicious-looking treats and drinks, special deals and features of pies, desserts and eggnog in your grocery store – it’s no wonder ‘tis the season to gain weight! Avoid the post-holiday weight-gain damper by following these 8 easy-to-remember steps:

1. Have a Plan!

Write down your goals through the end of the year. Are you trying to lose weight? Gain muscle? Write down a specific plan, and start it with: “My goal by the end of the year is to:” and include individually numbered steps with how you’re going to accomplish these goals.

2. Avoid the Holiday Temptations!

All of these delicious, tempting treats that come out around the holiday season are generally the culprit for holiday weight gain. When you go grocery shopping, don’t go hungry! If you pass by the Eggnog or happen to come across the beautifully decorated holiday table featuring that scrumptious-looking pumpkin and apple pie in your local grocery store – keep on walking! These indulgences add up quick and are littered with saturated fat, sugar, and simple carbohydrates. Another thing to stay resilient against is all the seasonal promotions going on at places like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and other fast-food establishments. Just say NO to the seasonal PROMO (should I trademark that? ?).

3. Balance Macronutrients at Meal Time!

It’s best to have a nutritionally balanced meal at every meal, and this especially rings true during the holiday season. Pull back on the fats as much as possible and increase protein and complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes (without the brown sugar and marshmallows) if you’re trying to lose weight. A healthy macronutrient ratio for weight loss is 35% protein, 15% fat, and 50% carbohydrates. That’s about 175 grams of protein, 34 grams of fat, and 250 grams of carbs per day based on a 2,000 daily calorie limit.

4. Know How Many Calories Your Body Needs!

Known as your basal metabolic rate, your body needs a specific number of calories per day to function based on your daily level of exercise. Consistently eating calories beyond this calculated number means you’re going to gain weight. Reciprocally, consistently eating calories below this number means you’ll generally lose weight. You can find a great BMR Calculator by clicking here: www.ChristinasFitness.com/bmr-calculator

5. Limit Going Back for Seconds!

When gathered with friends, family or co-workers at one of the many holiday engagements and/or meals during the season, limit your seconds-plate with healthy options if still hungry. Most of the time, your mind isn’t quite caught up with your stomach in terms of whether or not we’re *really* still hungry. It takes around 20 minutes to feel full, so take your time chewing. Try keeping this in mind when craving that second heaping of Aunt Doris’s awesome stuffing.

6. Drink of Plenty of Water!

Not only is water essential to our bodily functions such as digesting food and cleaning our system, it is also responsible for avoiding false hungers when consumed regularly. Most people mistake hunger for dehydration because they’re simply not drinking enough water! Avoid these false hunger triggers during the holiday season by bringing a bottle of water with you everywhere you go, and make sure you drink a full glass of water before and after your meals. This will help you feel more full and will help avoid going back for seconds and can help curb that sweet-tooth craving.

7. Exercise with Some Cardio Focus Before Big Meals!

Before that employee holiday party or even holidays themselves, get out and exercise with a focus on cardio before indulging in that big holiday meal. This will help increase your metabolism and will help off-set some of the calorie consumption during the day. You may also be less likely to indulge in a huge sugar-infested dessert binge on that day because of doing cardio and the feel-good accomplishing feeling that it brings. ?

8. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

If you do happen to over-indulge on that apple pie or spiced egg nog, don’t let it get you down. It’s important to not feel defeated in your efforts to avoid weight-gain during the holidays and if you’ve been doing well overall, a one-time treat isn’t going to set you back too far. Don’t forget to keep your mind in the game and remember that you have a plan. Follow it, hold yourself accountable, but do not beat yourself up. You’re doing a great job!

For more information on Christina, visit her website at ChristinasFitness.com and follow her on Facebook: facebook.com/christinasfitness