Avoid Weight Gain this Holiday Season: 5 Effective Hacks

Holiday season is fast approaching and most of us are already coming to terms with the fact that it’s inevitable not to gain a solid 5 to 10 lbs yet again. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. In this article I’ve put together five simple, but effective hacks to help you avoid weight gain this holiday season.


fsating - how to avoid gaining weight this holiday season

Use Intermittent Fasting ‘til the big dinner

If you start the day by eating carbs, especially fast digesting carbs (sugars) it will have a snowball effect and make you want to eat more and more.

Sugar releases feel good chemicals in our brain and the more we have it, the more we want it. Sugar is notorious for causing intense cravings.

Instead, there are two effective alternatives to help you avoid unnecessary weight gain.

One is to simply fast until your big dinner. Coffee, water and tea is fine.

Second alternative is to eat a couple meals consisting of high quality protein and healthy fats during the day prior to the family gathering or event.

This will provide satiety, eliminate the need for cravings and keep a steady blood sugar levels for an even energy curve.


water - how to avoid gaining weight this holiday season

Up your water game 

If we’re being honest, most of us forget to drink water altogether.

And if we do, it’s usually when our body is so dehydrated signaling an intense thirst feeling.

The rule is if you’re thirsty it’s too late – you’re already dehydrated.

Make it a habit to drink a bottle of water (500ml) every hour or so.

If you really want to add some punch to your water, adding some calorie-free flavoured BCAA’s would do the trick without the damage.

  • Keeps you hydrated and full
  • Decreases cravings


Sneak in an intense workout 

If you have 45 to 60 mins, hit the gym and smash some weights.

If you have 30 mins or less, complete an intense HIIT workout either at the gym or even at home.

Both methods of training will not only burn calories, but will also induce EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) which will ramp up your metabolism and continue to burn calories up to 24-48 hours later.

This will allow you to enjoy some goodies at dinner without the guilt.

In addition, an intense workout will signal the release of certain hormones such as growth hormone, testosterone and insulin. This will help utilize the post-workout nutrition much more efficiently, favoring to store the nutrients in muscle cells rather than fat cells.


turkey - how to avoid gaining weight this holiday season

Protein first 

Prioritize protein and have it be the largest portion of your meal. Followed by some complex carbs and lastly some healthy fats.

It is extremely hard to overeat whole foods. So throw yourself a big plate of healthy foods and indulge until you’re full.

Leave the dessert and goodies for last.

By the time you’re done eating your whole meal, you’ll have little room left for the  dessert.

This will help you eat only 1 or 2 servings instead of 8.


how to avoid weight gain this holiday season - toronto personal training

Practice mindfulness

If you’re full, stop eating.

Be mindful of how you’re feeling and the signals your body is conveying to you.

Self-awareness leads to far better choices than ignorance.

When you become aware of your body and what’s happening around you, you won’t be able to justify your bad decisions as easily.

Even if you do, the guilt will follow you around making you eventually stop.

There’s generally two types of people in this category.

Type A is able to have a cookie resulting in his/her mind relaxing and the deed is done. If that’s the case, have the cookie and live happy.

Type B (this is me) is the type that if he/she gives in, the entire trey of cookies will be gone and he/she will be looking for the next prey to conquer. If that’s you, be self-aware and control yourself.


Final Notes

Major results stem from completing a large sum of small actions leading up to it.

Having a little piece of chocolate here, a bread stick there, a glass of wine with some cheese, pancakes, eggs with bacon breakfast, skip today’s workout, etc. all adds up quickly to a 10 lb fatter you.

Practice self-awareness and follow these simple steps to avoid weight gain this holiday season and/or whenever you’re attending a big (food) event.

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