Golden stuffing fresh out of the oven. Garlicky mashed potatoes swimming in butter. Sweet potato pie smothered in whipped cream. If the thought of all this mouth-watering holiday fare sends you into a panic, you’re in the right place. As Head Chef and Lead Nutrition Coach of Venice Nutrition, I’ve worked with plenty of dubious clients who just don’t seem to share my enthusiasm for the upcoming seasonal feasts. Why? Because for many, the holidays represent “inevitable” weight gain, not to mention the anxiety, fatigue and depression that tag along with it. So, is there a way to truly let go and embrace all of the joy the holidays have to offer while still fitting into your skinny jeans? Yes! Follow my holiday checklist below and I promise come January 1st, your standard “I will lose weight” resolution won’t be necessary this year.
1. First, figure out what you really want to achieve. Take a moment to jot down precise and realistic goals specific to what you wish to accomplish from now until January 1st. Here’s an example of how.
Goal: “I want to prevent gaining weight this holiday season. In order to do this while still enjoying my family, friends and the festivities, I will:
(Plan of Action)
1. Add an extra 15 minutes of cardio onto my workouts 3 times per week for the next two months.
2. Aim for at least 75 ounces of water per day by bringing a bottle of water with me to work that I can refill frequently.
3. Cut back my restaurant meals to one time per week for the next two months to make up for all the holiday extras. This means I need to make and pack my lunch the night before the next work day two extra times per week.
Whether you want to lose weight, boost your energy or simply maintain your size, your goals need to be practical to your lifestyle and schedule like the examples above (who can’t bring a water bottle with them to work or while running errands with the kids?). Bottom line: Create do-able goals along with realistic means to make them happen and you will succeed.
2. Next, check out these must-read blogs. Over the years, I’ve authored quite a few How to Survive the Holidays blogs that my clients (and me) rely on year after year. Here’s the ones that you need to prepare yourself for the next few months:
Thanksgiving: How to Stay on Course with Your Nutrition- A step-by-step plan on making confident choices while still enjoying the holidays. Find it here
Holiday Secrets from a Nutrition Coach and Chef- A must read for my fellow “all or nothing” thinkers. Learn how to let go of the excuses and the guilt for real results. Find it here.
Thanksgiving: The “Day-After” Survival Guide- An effective go-to guide perfect for the “morning after” too much food and indulgence. Find it here.
3. And finally, open your mind to the possibilities. I’m always bummed when I overhear someone say, "There's no way I can be fit over the holidays. I’ll worry about it after the first of the year.” I’m sure you can guess what happens to these cynics. They’re the ones battling an extra ten pounds each year come spring time. Living healthy isn’t something you skip for a few months. There will be times (like the holidays) when your standards are slightly lowered and you may indulge a bit more. As long as you have a “base” or health structure to fall back on, you are never too far from your goals or your goal weight. And trust me, losing an extra two pounds is a heck of a lot easier and quicker than having to lose an extra ten.
Don't have a health structure that you can rely on? Consider becoming a member of Venice Nutrition; we’ll create your entire health structure including customized meal plans, personalized exercise program and even sleep and stress help specifically for you. In addition, you’ll benefit from the ongoing support system most of us need this time of year. Learn more here.
Already a member? Consider working one on one with a Certified Nutrition Coach either by phone or a consulting center to keep you motivated all season long and take your body to that next level. Learn more here.
No matter if you want join a nutrition program or go it alone, remember the keys to succcess. Create realistic goals along with a plan, arm yourself with the correct education (and please beware of all the misinformation out there; it can really slow you down) and keep a healthy mindset. Though the holidays are wonderful, they can be quite hectic. Don't complicate them further by trying to do too much. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Lead Nutrition Coach and Head Chef