5 Tips to Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain…and Still Indulge in it All

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Ahhh the holidays. It’s a time when we come together to celebrate joy and family… and inevitably overeat. If you’re anything like me, it starts early November when I begin my Christmas cookie baking… Only none of them even make it to the freezer. Food is a big part of the holidays, and we often find ourselves feeling bloated, blimp-ish, and frustrated with the scales come January. Here are a few tips to avoiding the holiday weight gain: while still indulging in it all.

1. Keep Track!

Try and keep track of everything! Pay attention to how many scoops of gravy you put on your plate, how many cookies you munch on, how many glasses of wine you have. This is not to make you feel guilty — in fact, it is the opposite! Many of us experience stress over the holidays, and stress can lead to something called Mindless Eating.  Brian Wansink, a food psychologist, says Mindless Eating is when we overeat without realizing it. When we think about what we are eating, we are more likely to be aware when we are full! That way too, you can be focused on something else and not have to listen to Aunt Gigi’s never-ending stories at the family dinner.

2. Drink Water!

I know, you’ve heard this one so many times you’re about to stop reading… But it really is important. Not only will drinking extra water transform your skin within a week, it will allow your body to start processing all the rich and fatty foods you will eat this month. Try to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have. While this may keep you too sober to talk to the office cutie at the Christmas party, it will avoid the hangover blues and the bloated upset tummy (and also, your 2018 self will probably thank you… Trust me: office dating really isn’t everything it’s cut out to be).

3. Get up and Move around!

You don’t have to be a gym fanatic to avoid holiday weight gain! Just get up and move your body — this will help get your metabolism going. Don’t be a wall flower: jump on that dance floor! Be that guest that gets up and offers to do the dishes — even walking around after a heavy meal can do wonders when you’re as stuffed as the turkey you just ate. Do stretches before bed! When you are sleeping, your body needs to rest too, so it shuts down secondary functions like the digestive system in order to recuperate for the morning. Sometimes we can’t avoid eating a big holiday meal late, so make sure you do some stretches or yoga before bed to avoid that sluggish bloated feeling in the morning.

4. Keep it proportionate

Try to keep your plate relatively proportionate. Have equal amounts of the steamed vegetables and the stuffing. Not putting on holiday weight doesn’t mean missing out on things, it just means keeping things balanced – choose between a second serving of turkey or a plate of dessert, in the same way you make that choice between your annual girl’s night out and your bestie’s Christmas baking night.

5. Love Yourself!

Our relationship with food and our bodies can be complicated, and often includes a love-hate dynamic. It can be hard to remember that what we eat and how much we weigh has nothing to do with our self-worth, especially at a time of year when emotions and stress run rampant. We have to constantly remind ourselves that we are all beautiful in different ways. Our trademark is our confidence, and self-love is the first step to letting that shine out for the world to see. Our minds are intrinsically linked to our bodies, so when you are happy with yourself, your body will be happy with you too.

Now, get out there and have fun this holiday season! Indulge in everything you want, and still look great going into the New Year!