Holiday Weight Gain (And Being OK with It!)

Good morning Smile I’m in Florida, hopefully lounging on the beach with a good book (and cocktail?) in my hands. My client lent me this book a couple of weeks ago, and I’m hoping with two 5-hour plane rides and some beach time, it will quite literally be my beach read:


It’s always kind of sad the couple days after Christmas. Winter in general kind of bums me out, but Shane keep reminding me that there’s till New Year’s, and then a whole season of skiing to look forward, too.

Anyway, now that Christmas has come and gone, with New Year’s right around the corner, the holidays are almost done. While the holidays bring joy, family, gifts, and warmth, they can also bring something a little less…desirable – holiday weight gain.

I promise that this isn’t going to be one of those cliché posts that talks about how to avoid holiday weight gain. As I write that sentence, I’m sure every single one of you reading can recite one tip that’s been regurgitated over and over in fitness magazines, that makes it seem easy as Christmas pie to resist all temptations from Thanksgiving to New Years.


I like to be real with my friends, and that’s what I consider you guys – a big group of friendsSmile Each year, when this season rolls around, I tell my clients (many of whom are also friends) the same thing:

“please, please don’t put pressure on yourself to drop pounds this month. We can go back to losing body fat after Christmas, but this month, please don’t be disappointed if the scale doesn’t keep going down.”

In fact, I think it’s a victory if the scale doesn’t go up. And if it does go up a few pounds, it’s OK. Our eating habits should normalize come January, and those few pounds (which are likely partly water weight) will slide right off along with it.



Although I make it a point not to step on the scale on a regular basis at all, a few weeks ago, I became concerned because my period was late (and no, I’m not pregnant.) Hmmm, I thought. Have I lost weight and not even realized it? Although my pants fit no differently, I stepped on the scale only to realize the opposite had happened – I had gained 5 pounds! (A couple days later, I got my period, and blame the lateness on some stress and a funk I was going through in November.)

Now, I always gain about 5 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, every year. But I have to admit, seeing the scale 5 ok 6 pounds higher than the last time I stepped on it, gave me a bit of a fright. It was only the beginning of December, and I had already gained my usual holiday weight gain?! While I’m definitely OK with gaining a few pounds around this time of year, I am trying to avoid the Christmas cookies a tad bit more, so that 5 pounds doesn’t turn into 10.


But that’s not my point. My point is that holiday weight gain happens. And it’s OK – as long as we’re not going crazy and choosing to indulge in every.single.goodie that passes us by Winking smile

So, instead of making a list of how to lose weight during the holiday, my list today, is how to be OK with a little holiday weight gain.

1. Move more efficiently. Not to burn more calories, but to feel good in your own skin. Often times, during the holidays, we are limited on time. You might not have a complete hour to get in your workout, but you do have 20-30 minutes. Move more efficiently with some time-saving workout techniques, or skip the commute time by working out at home.

2. Indulge wisely. Consider this scenario: you’re at a Christmas party, and there’s counters and counters full of goodies – cheese plates, pastries, cookies, egg nog, and other high calorie-laden snacks. All of the sudden, the nights almost over, and you feel…miserable. Everything at those counters ended up on your plate, and you leave feeling pretty damn crappy. I’ve been there, too. What’s a good indulgence if we eat them mindlessly, and can’t even enjoy it at the end? Choose a few things you really love, and enjoy them. Then, please, please, please don’t feel bad about it afterward.

3. Indulge with loved ones. It’s a reality that we humans bond over food and drink. To me, a glass of wine is only more flavorful when enjoyed with a couple of good girlfriends. Christmas cookies are that much sweeter when shared with family. Shane and I love decorating the tree while drinking – and completely enjoying – egg nog.

4. Forgive yourself and have compassion for your body. Instead of harping over those few pounds, think about the three things above, and how much you enjoyed indulging, and how it only comes once a year. Give yourself grace, and realize that a few pounds isn’t a big deal in the least.

What are your thoughts on holiday weight gain?

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  1. Today is day 1 of my post-holiday no more sweets. Yes. I indulged and enjoyed it at the time but as I sit here this morning I wonder if it was worth it. Not because I’m beating myself up but because I just don’t feel good. My body is like what the heck have you done?!?!?! Ugh!

    So yay I’m not beating myself up and I enjoyed indulging during the holidays tremendously but is it worth it to feel less than great as a result?

    Something to think about :)
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted..2013 Running Year In ReviewMy Profile

  2. Amen to all the above!!!!!!
    Jackie recently posted..{tasty} stuffed peppersMy Profile

  3. Agree! I know that this time of year is about spending quality time with friends and family and to enjoy. I dont want to overshadow that with worry about the scale. I know I am working out 4+times a week and eating healthy on my own.
    With Holiday meals, I try to be relaxed and go with the flow. Yes, my family does not eat very healthy and already thinks my clean eating is extreme or ‘dieting’. They just dont get it. So I make sure to bring a side of something healthy that will balance out my meal, and that keeps me non stressed.
    Will I eat a sweet or chips/dip if they are there? Maybe. Will I freak over it? No. I know that tomorrow I will be back on track with my clean eats and workouts and appreciate the good times I had.
    Hope you are relaxing in the sun with your toes in the sand (jealous!!)

  4. I love this. It can be easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of food and treats available during the holiday season, wanting to have it all, yet feeling guilty afterwards. I think you’ve given some great tips to keep moderation in mind and remember to honor our bodies without guilt.
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves recently posted..Fascinating Friday Links #17My Profile

  5. I could not agree more. In past years I’ve stressed so much about gaining weight and eating this or that-this year I didn’t worry and as a result enjoyed myself much more, enjoyed the food more, and even didn’t gain much weight because I didn’t have that added stress!
    Aurora@Fitness is Sweet recently posted..Visiting Reindeer and Other Christmas FestivitiesMy Profile

  6. Yes, yes, yes! So glad you addressed this. Of course I don’t think we should go CRAZY, but enjoying time around food and family is a special time and should be savored. I’d much rather gain a few pounds and enjoy the food and family I’m surrounded with rather than deprive myself all season long!
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..Keeping Healthy in Twenty FourteenMy Profile

  7. unless you eat a whole pie a day, i think we’ll be fine with the extra “water” weight. Yes, it will go quick. Well said. haha

  8. I knew it was happening so I’ve opted not to step on the scale and avoid the mental games all together. I may even wait quite a bit before I get on one again, just to see how that feels instead of weighing daily (I’m a geek and like data). I haven’t decided if I’ll do a month, or three months…or maybe even longer, but we’ll see!
    Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted..Face The Music Friday #14My Profile

  9. I touched on this because I gain 5 pounds from October-December then quickly proceed to lose it towards the end of December every single year without fail. I stopped freaking out because it’s not even from the indulgences, but a lot of the stress from freaking out about all the indulgences. The two weeks I usually have off helps me lose the weight by just relaxing.
    Julie recently posted..Friday Five: End of the yearMy Profile

  10. Yes. This is how I roll :) #NoRegrets
    RunEatRepeat recently posted..Best Running Songs of 2013My Profile

  11. I love and appreciate your honesty. I think clients often put us as trainers on a pedestal. We struggle with many of the same challenges they do and I too try to share with my clients my own issues. I also think maintaining is an amazing goal for the holiday season.

  12. I love the holidays & all the treats!! :) I enjoy the ones I don’t get to have throughout the year and it makes the time extra special. And I don’t worry about weight or whatever. Plus, keeping with exercise & other healthy habits help during this time to keep me sane & balanced: )

  13. I totally agree with you. I enjoy Christmas day, boxing day and New year day for treats and drinks but the other days I tend to stay on the healthy eating path. But if I gain, I know January is back to normal :) Enjoy the holidays.
    blackhuff recently posted..Eating a cookie for breakfastMy Profile

  14. Forgiving yourself is HUGE! For me, I know it will happen but I always have to remember that it goes away as soon as the cookies do :)
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen recently posted..Christmas 2013My Profile

  15. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely wonderful.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like
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    Best Diet Programs recently posted..Best Diet ProgramsMy Profile


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