Less Tricks, More Treats: How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain Without Missing Out
The holiday season is upon us and we all know what that means: treats, indulgences, parties and (let’s face it) overeating. In this guide, we’re showing you How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain Without Missing Out–that’s right, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle during the holidays without sacrifice and deprivation. Check out our simple and easy tips here–you might even lose weight this holiday season!
UPDATE: This post was originally published in October 2017.
This post is sponsored by Amazing Grass. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
We’re just over two weeks away from Halloween, which IMHO is the start of the holiday season.
The end of October usually means it finally feels like Fall in Georgia, and once Thanksgiving is on the brain, I feel like it’s basically Christmas.
Between Halloween and New Year’s, there’s dozens of parties, tailgates, indulgences, and treats to be had, and with that often comes that dreaded weight gain. It’s like the Freshman 15 for adults every freakin’ year!
But truth be told, you can actually maintain a healthy lifestyle during the holidays with a few simple tips. Check it out:
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Savvy Swaps
The number one way I avoid holiday weight gain without sacrifice or deprivation is by making cleaned up versions of my favorite treats.
It all starts with a few savvy swaps, like trading traditional candy for healthier choices made without artificial colors and junk, cleaner baking mixes and flours, unrefined, natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar, and fair trade dark chocolate in place of overly sweetened baking chips with GMO soy, artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Simple Mills Gluten-Free Baking Mixes
- Yum Earth Sour Pops
- Surf Sweets Gummies
- Equal Exchange Organic Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
- Wholesome! Organic raw coconut sugar
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: The 80-20 Rule
Likewise, in order to not feel deprived or like you’re missing out during the holidays, I recommend following my signature 80-20 rule.
If you’re not familiar, here’s the gist: The 80-20 rule is a practical approach to following a clean eating diet that will help you create a healthier relationship with food.
The 80-20 rule comes from the Pareto principle (also known as the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity), which says that roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.
But when applied to eating, the 80-20 rule (in my opinion) means that you eat as healthy as you can 80 percent of the time (i.e. Root), and learn to let go and celebrate life the other 20 percent (i.e. Revel).
Balance is the cornerstone of the R+R lifestyle. Everything in moderation, including moderation. That’s my motto!
There is so much joy in food, in gathering around a table with loved ones and sharing a delicious meal, in savoring one of life’s greatest pleasures. Especially during the holidays.
So give yourself a couple of treats each week, guilt-free. Because obsessing too much about sugar-free this or non-toxic that isn’t healthy either. Just monitor your portion sizes!
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Never go to a party hungry
Halloween is the start of holiday party season, and while it can be tempting to skip meals leading up to a party to allow yourself to indulge, I strongly discourage this tactic as it always seems to result in overeating later.
Instead, fill up on high-fiber foods and nutrient-dense veggies leading up to any event, so that when you arrive, you’re not starving and tempted to overindulge.
Likewise, here are a few tips for navigating party food in a healthful way:
- Use a small plate–instead of grabbing a big dinner plate from the buffet, grab a smaller app plate to help with portion control.
- Start by filling the plate with veggies, fruits, salad and whole grains before you load up on calorie-dense meat and rich desserts.
- Eat slowly–if you’re going to indulge, don’t scarf down your meal before you even know what’s happening. Enjoy it, pay attention to what you’re eating, and savor every bite.
- Wait at least 15 minutes after your first plate before you go back for seconds. This will force you to decide if you’re actually still hungry.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Up the Nutrition of Your Favorite Drinks
Alcoholic drinks and classic holiday beverages like hot cocoa, eggnog, apple cider, flavored lattes and hot buttered rums are a staple during this season.
And while it’s okay to indulge every now and then, there are a few ways you can counteract the richness:
- Choose dairy-free nut milks instead of rich, heavy creams and milks.
- Swap refined sugars for natural maple syrup, raw honey, dates or organic coconut sugar to reduce blood sugar spikes.
- Add Amazing Grass elixirs to up the nutrition ante and make decadent drinks healthier. Their elixirs are bursting with stress-relieving adaptogens, tons of easy-to-digest organic greens grown on their family farm in Kansas and nutrient-dense add-ons.
- Brain Fix supports cognitive health, concentration and mental clarity with Matcha Green Tea, Lion’s Mane, Maca and Lemon Balm Leaf.
- Belly Elixir supports digestion and gut health with 1 Billion CFU Probiotics, Turmeric and Holy Basil.
- Beauty Elixir gives you radiant skin, hair and nails with 100% DV Biotin, Chaga, and oodles of antioxidants from superfruits like Maqui, Camu Camu, Lucuma and Blueberry Juice.
Even better? These elixirs hardly affect the taste of your favorite drinks and the fuel your body with extra nutrition to counterbalance the indulgence.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Add Protein
One of my favorite ways to avoid holiday weight gain is by eating more protein, which promotes lean muscle, aids in digestion and satisfies hunger.
A great method for adding more protein to my diet during the holidays is by using Amazing Grass’s Protein Superfood Powders in place of flour in baked goods, like cookies, muffins, cakes etc.
Just like with their elixirs, you’re adding much-needed nutrients to decadent desserts that can help you offset the treats.
Amazing Grass’s organic superfood blend of plant-based protein is made with farm fresh greens and nutrient-dense fruits and veggies–in fact, there’s 2 full servings of fruits and veggies in every scoop from wheat grass, alfalfa, barley grass, spinach, spirulina, chlorella, and broccoli, plus acai, banana, beet, carrot, goji, pineapple, sweet potato, raspberry and rose hips (all of which is 100% organic!).
Plus it’s got 20 grams of plant-based protein per serving (thanks to organic pea protein, organic hemp protein, organic chia and organic quinoa).
Adding Amazing Grass Protein Superfood to holiday baked goods doesn’t affect the flavor at all–I use Original to ensure that.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Drink Green Smoothies
Another great way to thwart holiday weight gain is by filling up on green smoothies, like this Skinny Peppermint Mocha Green Smoothie.
To make the most detoxifying green smoothies, I recommend adding wheatgrass, which ups the nutrition ante BIG TIME, without affecting the flavor too heavily.
Not only does wheatgrass contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, plant-based protein and phyto-nutrients (it’s one of the best sources of living chlorophyll, which is antibacterial and a natural healer), it’s also extremely alkalizing (meaning it naturally balances and increases alkalinity), and it supports your immune system and your body’s detoxification process.
Chlorophyll neutralizes toxins in the body, helps purify the liver, improves blood sugar problems, increases the function of the heart and positively affects the vascular system, the intestines, the uterus, and the lungs (source).
Superfood doesn’t even begin to describe it.
My favorite brand of Wheatgrass Powder is Amazing Grass, which is also Organic, non-GMO and gluten-free.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is key to avoiding weight gain. Not only do we often eat when we’re really just thirsty, but the less hydrated you are, the more likely you are to have a higher body mass index (BMI). So nix the soda and sugar-laden drinks and just drink more pure H20.
If you really need flavor, add Amazing Grass effervescents to your water for a fun and flavorful twist sure to help you drink more water.
These tablets are made with an organic blend of alkalizing greens including wheat grass, barley grass, and alfalfa, plus a potent blend of over 30 antioxidant-rich superfoods, which will support your immune system, your digestion and your mood.
Happiness is key to avoiding weight gain (stress = weight gain). Plus, happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. 😉
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Boost Your Immune System
Did you know that a healthy immune system can help you lose weight?
By eating nutrient-dense foods, you’ll scrub out and destroy toxins that cause illness, and help your body activate its own clean-up system to provide super immunity. You’ll renew your energy, lose weight, put an end to sick days and increase longevity. (source)
Not only that, but many auto-immune conditions, like Diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, Celiac and Hashimoto’s, can cause weight gain. And what causes these disorders? An unhealthy immune system that starts attacking itself.
So eat immune-boosting foods like bone broth, citrus, mushrooms, ginger and garlic. And take a strong, high-quality probiotic to keep your microbiome balanced.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Exercise
I know–duh! Working out helps you lose weight. This isn’t rocket science. But how could I not mention exercise in this post?
I also know that this time of year, it’s harder than ever to find time to work out. It’s okay. Just moving a little bit every day can help–so take a walk, do 15 minutes of yoga or HIIT, stretch at your desk (or if you want to get really crazy, STAND at your desk). Just move.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Stress Less
Easier said than done, I know. There’s so much to do, and so little time.
But don’t worry! I’ve come up with 10 easy ways to reduce holiday stress naturally (no Xanax required!)
Because not only would it be nice to actually enjoy the holiday season, but stress can wreak havoc on your metabolism.
It’s true: stress causes weight gain. Here’s the cycle: stress causes an increase in the hormone cortisol, which has been shown to increase appetite, drive cravings for junk food, and cause you to accumulate belly fat.
Stress can also result in burning fewer calories, a slower metabolism, and higher levels of insulin, a hormone that contributes to fat storage. (source)
So yeah, let’s stress less this holiday season and avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain.
AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ENTER BELOW!
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust.
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I've linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.