Holiday Weight Loss Tips
Welcome to Part 1 of our Holiday Weight Loss Series!
We throw around this stat a lot at Force Fitness and sometimes I think it gets used so much that it falls on deaf ears.
The typical person will gain 5-15 lbs during the holiday season!
That is incredibly unfortunate. From Halloween to New Year, just a little over 8 weeks most people will gain at least 1lbs a week if not MORE.
Think about how hard you work to lose those pounds. Eating right, planning meals, reducing your stress, optimizing your lifestyle, and training hard.
All so that you can set yourself back during the holidays.
In a few short weeks you can undo weeks and months of hard work if you aren’t careful. That is why we are putting together this series of blog posts- to help you not only maintain your weight but hopefully drop some during the holidays as well.
There are three factors that will determine your success during the holiday season.
- Your Nutrition
- Your Training
- Your Stress Management
We will cover each of these three topics in detail over the course of the next week. Pay close attention to the actions we are asking you to take and you will have great results. Ignore this advice and suffer the weight gain that most others will experience.
There is absolutely no need to have to start January 1st in worse shape than you are at this very moment.
The very first thing that I want you to do is immediately go get on the scale and write down your starting weight.
Yep, stop reading right now and get on a scale, I will wait for you….
Okay, now that you have your starting weight you need to write it down along with the date on a sheet of paper that you are going to use to track your progress.
Now I want you to do a few other things:
- Measure the circumference around your waist at the belly button level.
- Take a picture shirtless or in a sports bra/swim suit so that you have a before picture.
Keep both of these things handy. You want to reference them. Write down your belly button measurement on the paper with your weight and if you can print off your before picture so that you have some motivation throughout the next 6 weeks.
Now that we have our baseline I want you to set a goal.
Be realistic about it as well. If you know that the holidays are hard for you then losing 3-5 lbs between now and January 1st is a good goal. However, if you are a bit more serious about your goal and know that you can overcome the obstacles that are headed your way then set your goal a bit higher.
For most people 5-10bs of fat is a reasonable goal to set while still giving you the flexibility to enjoy the holidays.
Now on your piece of paper write down your goal as if it is going to happen:
“I will lose 5-10lbs in the next 8 weeks!” or “I will be XXXlbs on January 1st!”
Now that you have that I want you to add a “because” statement to it:
“I will lose 10lbs in the next 8 weeks because I am motivated and dedicated to being in the best shape of my life to start the new year.”
You will have to figure out your ‘because’. It needs to mean something to you.
Now that you have your entire mantra written out I want you to repeat it to yourself 5 times each and every day from now until January 1st. No excuses.
I know this sounds silly, but it works. Trust me on it- what do you have to lose?
Nutrition is going to be the most critical factor in your success over the course of the next 6-8 weeks. If you go off the deep end and eat every single goodie in sight you will likely be one of those typical people that gain 15 lbs.
If you are able to follow these simple rules you can lose the same amount of weight!
Holiday Weight Loss Rule #1
Plan the majority of your meals around protein and produce.
Sounds simple right?
It is! All you have to do is make each of your meals focused on high quality proteins and produce.
High quality proteins include chicken, beef, pork, fish, and eggs. Animal protein is going to be your best source and the higher quality you can get the better.
If you can afford to get grass-fed AND finished beef, pastured pork, chicken and eggs, and wild caught fish do it. You will notice the difference immediately. These things are even more important that buying organic veggies.
If you can’t afford or can’t find that quality of meat then your next best bet is to get hormone-free and organic meats.
If that isn’t available then buy the leanest cuts of meat you can find since most of the toxins in meat are stored in the fats. If you can trim the excess fat off the meat.
We aren’t afraid of the fats in the protein sources if it comes form high quality forms, in fact that will actually help you burn more fat. So, if you can get the high quality stuff don’t shy away from fat!
For your produce stick to green veggies as much as possible. These high fiber, low starchy carb veggies will keep you full and help you burn a ton of fat.
If you can get organic, if not don’t worry about it.
Here are some great green veggies to include often:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Mixed Greens
You can and should include as many of these veggies as you want to feel full. You can also add in other veggies but I would suggest you stay away from carrots, peas, beets, squash and yams or sweet potatoes. Oh, and I figure it is self-explanatory but white potatoes are off limits.
That is it!
Choose 1-2 palm sized servings of protein and 2-3 fist size servings of veggies and you are off the races! Don’t worry about fruit or other starchy carbs. You will be avoiding these for the most part during the holiday season.
The key to making this work is to stay as strict as possible with your protein, fat and carb intake during the times where you have control over you meals.
We don’t have to count calories! By using the simple palm and fist portion sizes you will naturally eat enough food to keep you full but still have you losing weight.
Eat 3-4 meals a day and allow yourself to be flexible with the timing. You don’t need to start yourself or avoid eating, but if you aren’t hungry don’t worry about breakfast- you can make it up later in the day.
As long as you stick to protein and veggies you will be good to go and burning tons of fat.
Holiday Weight Loss Tip #2
What about the fat?
Dietary fat will not make you fat. In fact it will do just the opposite when you eat it according the guidelines we are listing in this blog post.
You shouldn’t steer clear of fat, run to it!
Include 1-2 thumb sized portion of fats with each meal.
- Avocado and Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil and Coconut flakes
- Almonds, Walnuts or Pecans
- Olive Oil
- Small amounts of almond butter (no sugar added, as natural as possible)
- Animal fats in your proteins
- Grass-fed butter such as Kerrygold or Patured Butter or Ghee
Those will be your basic sources and will get you through the holidays.
Don’t rely on nuts, seeds or butters to help you meet your fat requirements. They should be an occasional treat. It is too easy to overeat these.
These fats add lots of flavor to your foods and also help you remain full in between meals.
Holiday Weight Loss Tip #3
During these next few weeks you will need to avoid the following MOST of the time:
- Dairy of all kinds (with the exception of grass-fed butter)
- All grains and gluten
- Legume, this includes peanuts and peanut butters
- Starchy vegetables or tubers (squash, yams, etc)
These aren’t all bad things. However when we know that we will be splurging on them at various times throughout the next few weeks it is best to avoid them most of the time when you have control over it.
You will feel much better and lose weight faster if you avoid these things.
Holiday Weight Loss Tip #4
The 90% Rule
This is the best part!
You can still reach your goals and feel great if you simply follow the above tips 90% of the time. This leaves you room for one or two small splurges a week.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can have an all out day where you gorge yourself on cookies, cakes and candy. These little splurges should be planned out in advance around holiday events and parties that you want to attend.
Forget all the rules at the door and enjoy your time with friends and family.
If you find yourself splurging more than once per week you may want to take a look at your priorities.
One of the most important parts about your splurge is to not beat yourself up over it. Enjoy it and then get right back to your regular nutrition plan the next day. You may gain a pound or two of water but it will come off fast and you will start making progress quickly once you get back into your healthy routine.
Holiday Weight Loss Tip #5
It’s all about the alcohol
This is one of the most common questions we get. How do you drink alcohol and still lose weight?
Well, let’s start by talking about alcohol and what it does to your body.
First, it adds extra calories that are essentially useless to your body.
Second it is a toxin so your liver places it at the highest priority.
Your liver also metabolizes fats, so if you are drinking you are stopping your fat loss for a period of time.
If you choose to drink over the holidays remember these simple rules:
- Keep it to 1-2 drinks each time you are at an event
- Drink plenty of water to hydrate yourself between drinks
- Avoid sugary mixers and fruity drinks
- Red wine and clear alcohols are best
- If you drink beer enjoy the good stuff- don’t think light beer is light
- Use club soda, limes, lemon, etc to add flavor to drinks without adding mixers
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach, alcohol has a tendency to make you want to eat more junk
It is your call on alcohol, but if you do choose to drink to is responsibly. Oh, and don’t drink and drive. This is all about thriving during the holidays and a DUI or worse- killing someone
That is it!
5 Holiday Weight Loss Tips for your nutrition that will help you drop some fat while still being able to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends.
Holiday Weight Loss Tip #1: Stick to Proteins and Produce (mostly green veggies)
Holiday Weight Loss Tip #2: Include healthy fats at each meal
Holiday Weight Loss Tip #3: Avoid Grains, Legumes, Dairy and Starchy Carbs
Holiday Weight Loss Tip #4: Follow the 90% rule
Holiday Weight Loss Tip #5: Be smart with alcohol
Make sure you check back for Part 2 of this Holiday Weight Loss series where we will cover your training program for the next few weeks.