Surviving the Holidays Without Gaining the Weight

Think you have to pack on weight over the next 6 weeks? You don’t.

It’s completely possible for you to stay focused on your goals. But it requires you realize that “holiday time” doesn’t mean you get to let yourself go!

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year. We get to spend time with family and friends, relax, take naps, and enjoy some amazing foods.

But the holidays can also be a time of year where we let poor choices abound and we lose ground on all the hard work we’ve put in thus far.

When I coach my clients, I don’t ever ask them to deprive themselves of life’s enjoyments in the way of all the delicious foods available at parties and dinners.

I want people to live healthy, happy, well balanced lives. And this includes indulging from time to time.

But I do want my clients to eat thoughtfully and make their food choices wisely. We are not having a “screw it” mentality, nor do we want to try and avoid all the things only to lose our self-control and head face first into the mashed potatoes. 

Here is the advice I give my clients to make sure they enjoy themselves without completely falling off the wagon.

For Parties and Dinners

Allow yourself to have SOME appetizers and desserts, but make sure you’re not arriving starving to a party.

If need be, eat a salad or a sandwich before you head out so you can have control over what you eat when you arrive.

When snacking fill up on the lowest calories options and shoot for a ratio of 6 low cal options to one high cal option (six pieces of broccoli and then one handful of mixed nuts).

Minimize hitting the snack table if you’re drinking- the alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes it even more challenging to control yourself.

When you’re at a dinner- eat your protein and veggies first before making additional food choices. And please for the love of God eat your vegetables.

Don’t stress about the calories- one meal is not going to make or break your diet.

It’s the choices that you make at every party or dinner that will add up over time.


When you drink your body stores those calories immediately as fat. It also slows down digestion and stores that food as fat to process the alcohol faster.

Choose your alcohol and food choices well. Drink clear alcohol if given the choice, and don’t drink on an empty stomach, but minimize the amount of alcohol you are drinking WHILE you are eating.

And make sure you’re staying hydrated- try to drink one 8 oz glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume. 

This time of year does not have to be a situation where we gain back the weight you’ve lost or you gain more.

Be aware of what you are eating and when. Make sure you’re still getting enough sleep (and if you are taking some time off- get some naps in!) and be sure to plan ahead if you are traveling.

Take snacks with you on the plane (cut up veggies, trail mix, apples, hard boiled eggs) and when choosing foods- pick your protein first, then veggie, then carb.

Try and get as much exercise as possible- keep to your routine as much as you can. You can ALWAYS find time to do 10 to 15 minutes of calisthenics if you are away from a gym.

These are just a few tips and tricks to make the holidays doable. At the end of the day realizing its just a few days out of the months that impact your diet can help you appreciate it doesn’t all have to go to shit.

 You’ve got this. Stay focused, stay consistent, and you will make it into the New Year still on target.

Need help with staying on track this holiday season?

Check out Nutrition coaching page or send me an email!

My mission is to help everyone I can become the healthiest, strongest versions of themselves. I am a Crossfit coach, athlete, Health and Nutrition coach, Movement Rehab Specialist, and a grad student completing my masters in Kinesiology with a focus on integrative wellness.

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