Updated: Jul 6, 2020
"How do I not gain weight during December?"
My clients are freaking out. Christmas is coming- holiday parties, dinners at friends' homes, sweets at work, classroom cookie-decorating parties, wine-fueled crafting events... there are too many opportunities to experience setbacks in your health journey over the Christmas season.
We want to enjoy our celebrations. It has been a long, hard year for many people, and the Advent season allows us a sliver of light, and hope, in this difficult and broken world. And we would like to celebrate this with cheesecake and eggnog, thank you very much.
It's at times like this where I get annoyed that we live in this day and age. Did our grandmothers stress about getting fat during the Christmas season? Heck no! My grandma smoked her Virginia Slims, ate cookies, and traveled to Vegas to enjoy hotel buffets over the holidays. She would always bring me a shirt from the Mirage Hotel as part of my Christmas present. Why does our generation of women have to bear the brunt of decades of crappy diet dogma?
Ok. That's enough. Let's talk strategy.
Strategy #1- Wear pants that button every day in December.
It's the little things. If you are wearing your real pants instead of your Lululemons, you will be able to attend to slight alterations in your body composition. If you have to zip and button your favorite jeans every day, you will be more mindful about the things you put in your mouth. My biblical mentor taught me this trick after she birthed twins. It works.
Strategy #2- Drink a gallon of water a day.
This is only 8 small glasses of water. (8) glasses x (8) oz = (64) oz water = 1 gallon. Drink two glasses upon waking. I like to drink them warm, with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. The salt helps water penetrate each cell in your body (water follows salt, and sodium is needed by every cell in the body), and the lemon works to support your liver function. Drink two glasses 30 minutes before each meal. Cravings will subside and your body will be sufficiently hydrated.
Strategy #3- Plan out your days.
Believe me, this is worth it. Take 20 minutes on Sunday afternoon to prep your meal plan for the week. Put your tea kettle on, grab some pretty pens, and use this printable to get your week in order. Keep it on your fridge, or laminate it so you can wipe it clean each week
Plan out breakfasts, lunches, and dinner. You put effort into planning your kids' meals- why not pay yourself the same courtesy? If your meals are different from your family's, it is worth it to plan a bit. Focus on recipes that are dense in protein and veggies, with plenty of fat. Make sure to get 1/2 cup of fruit or safe starches (rice, yams, squash) per meal so that you feel satiated. Email me if you need some help with recipe planning.
Plan out your supplements. If you are on more than one supplement or medication, write these down and remember to take them. They do you no good sitting in the bottle.
Plan out your exercise. If you are recovering from adrenal fatigue or thyroid disorders or anything on the autoimmune spectrum, you would do well to stick to a 20 minute HIIT workout. Or 30 minutes of Pilates. If you are healthy and strong, pick any way to move your body. It will clear the mind and the lymph system. Exercise will help you battle against any holiday-induced depression.
These strategies are simply ideas to help you feel prepared for the season ahead. Notice that none of my strategies tell you to skip dessert, or wine, or bread. You are a big girl and you can make your own decisions. You should feel free to enjoy those things, if you can tolerate them, and if you enjoy them in moderation.
Getting caught without a plan is overwhelming- start now. Having a plan will help you stress less. So you can enjoy your holidays more! Merriest Christmas to you, reader dear.