Green Mountain’s Top 10 Tips to Guarantee Holiday Weight Gain

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I'm clearly thinking about holiday cookies these days!

Holiday treats aren't the real reason weight-struggling women gain more weight during the holidays than those who don't struggle with weight.

I know — how to gain weight really aren’t the kinds of tips you’re looking for.  At this time of year, weight-worried women (I love to alliterate) start thinking about how they’re going to avoid gaining weight during the holidays.

There’s a reason they think so much about it.  People who struggle with weight generally do gain more during this time of year than people who don’t.  Seems we all gain a little but normal healthy eaters quickly lose it without trying once the abundance of the holidays has passed.

Last year, we came up with a tongue-in-cheek look at how to guarantee weight gain during this time, the intent being to point out those all-too-common strategies many of us employ that end up shooting us in the foot. (Appears I like hyphens, too.)

A few examples:

  • Before the holidays, diet, diet diet! You expect to overeat during the holidays so get a jump on weight loss now while you can.  If you’re feeling truly ambitious, diet during the holidays, too.  The deprivation will be highly effective at driving you to overeat.
  • During the holidays, surround yourself with family and friends who make you feel guilty about eating. It’s easier to say no when your spouse, mother, sister, daughter, friend looks on disapprovingly as you reach for that wonderful holiday sprinkled cookie.
  • At parties, set a hands-off rule for all the rich foods you’ll encounter. If you just say no, you can nip any weight gain in the bud!

If you don’t want to gain weight during the holidays, you might be interested in our real advice. You can find it here in our FitBriefing Green Mountain’s Top 10 Tips to Guarantee Holiday Weight Gain.”

We also have a new FitBriefing featuring healthy holiday eating tips to avoid holiday weight gain that you might find useful.

We’re running a special program, too, called Holiday Helpings (TM). If you can get away before the holiday furor sets in, it can be just the thing to help you enjoy your holidays feeling great.

By the way, our tips are about how to maintain during the holdiays.  We don’t want to be working to try to lose weight during this time. (I could get into a discussion about whether we ever want to be working to lose weight but I’ll refrain.)  A focus on weight loss during the holidays will only frustrate most of us because we won’t succeed.  And perhaps more importantly, we’ll miss out on much of the fun the holidays bring.

Do you have any misguided strategies to point out?  What about some real eating tips for feeling great throughout the holidays?

10 Responses (Add Yours)

  • How about : Don’t go to a holiday gathering on an empty stomach. I’m so much more likely to overeat when I’m starving–and the chips, dip, cheese, and crackers are promising to stop my grumbling stomach. If I start the day with a bowl of oatmeal, I’m much more likely to feel satisfied at noon when my family is gathering around hors d’oeuvres.

    And I also drink a ton of water.
    .-= Tracey @ I’m Not Superhuman’s last blog post..Eat Slow, Lose Weight. 5 Steps to Leisurely Eating. =-.

  • Lori says:

    I think it is unrealistic to think you can lose a lot of weight during the holidays. You can lose, but most people strive for perfection and when they don’t meet that, then they fall face first into the eggnog and cookies.

    Planned indulgences are the key for the holidays.
    .-= Lori’s last blog post..Let’s talk coconut oil! =-.

  • Marsha says:

    Both good tips, Tracey!

    I love your last statement, Lori — “…fall face first into the eggnog and cookies.” It would be really hilarious if it weren’t so true.

  • I love the 10 tips to guarantee weight gain. What a unique way to look at a common issue!
    One thing I recommend to my clients is bringing a healthy side dish or dessert to parties to ensure they have something they know they enjoy and won’t take them too far off the bandwagon.
    .-= Nutritioulicious’s last blog post..Nutrition Day for Kids =-.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marsha Hudnall and GreenMtnFoxRun, ichange. ichange said: Green Mountain’s Top 10 Tips to Guarantee Holiday Weight Gain http://bit.ly/Q9inL [...]

  • The military base in Hawaii has a great name for their holiday weight management program, “Maintain, not Gain!” I think that’s a good mentality to have during the holidays, as people are always focused on losing weight, you need to cut yourself a break and applaud yourself for other accomplishments like maintaining your weight.
    .-= Nutrition to kitchen’s last blog post..Perfectly Poached Eggs =-.

  • It’s so great to read a post that’s NOT all about losing weight over the holidays. You’d think holidays were some torture we all have to undergo instead of a seasonal celebration that should be fun! Just enjoy in moderation and have a great time.
    .-= Crabby McSlacker’s last blog post..Smart Phones and Dumb Humans: Is Web Technology Messing With Your Brain? =-.

  • Marsha, awesome post! It’s so refreshing to read a funny take on tips for the holidays. I remember reading a “great” tip from a women’s magazine about bringing a clutch to a holiday party so you have one less hand for grabbing food. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or be insulted :)

    Recently, for one of my posts, I interviewed psychologist Karen Samuels, Ph.D, and I really liked her tip for a healthy holiday:

    “If we can shift the emphasis away from the food and drink, offer an opportunity to connect with important loved ones, then we can forget about the invitation to “eat, drink and be merry”. Focus on one true thing that brings a smile to yourself and/or someone you love. Let the food/drink be the backdrop for the time with those we cherish.”

    Also, just wanted to say that I love your approach at Green Mountain!
    .-= Margarita Tartakovsky ’s last blog post..Eating Disorder Recovery: Q&A with Therese Borchard =-.

  • Marsha says:

    Absolutely agree with all of you — the holidays are for fun. I also wonder (and I wrote this somewhere already this week but can’t remember where — maybe Tuesday’s post) whether all the focus on food during the holidays is an outcome for the weight worried among us (the majority of the population?) who fret about eating the rest of the year. It’s like the holidays give us permission to give ourselves permission to overeat. If we just ate what we wanted all year long, food might not be the focus it is.

    Magarita — you asked me in your interview (that I’m hoping to finish this week) what was the silliest holiday eating tip I’ve ever heard. Holding something in one hand so you couldn’t use it to eat was a top contender. So if we go to parties sans clutch, we’re going to attack the buffet table with both hands, grabbing everything we can get? O.M.G.

  • So true, Marsha. I think the holidays often symbolize a free-for-all, where we let loose our restrictive standards. I’m working on some posts on overeating, and everywhere I look, it talks about how dieting can be a precursor to overeating and binging.

    Your point reminds me of something Dr. Stacey, of “Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder?”wrote last year for Thanksgiving: http://everywomanhasaneatingdisorder.blogspot.com/2008/11/on-thanksgiving.html

    After overhearing a conversation between two women (one of them said it was disgusting that she was going to a party with 20 dishes and she was bringing a salad for herself), Dr. Stacey wrote:

    “I read somewhere that Americans consume an average of 4,500 calories at their annual Thanksgiving meals. As we all know, what began as a feast of gratitude has morphed into a national binge. Many people report feeling uncomfortably full after their meal. Sure, we all eat past fullness on occasion, but the culturally sanctioned degree here is cause for concern, as nausea trumps satiety with the rationale that we’re all in this together.

    In response, especially for people who struggle with disordered eating and body image, there’s Thanksgiving day anxiety. . . or disgust. 20 dishes? That sounds like a smorgasbord of wonderful opportunity–a chance to sample a little bit of this, a little bit of that. But, because we don’t trust ourselves to do this, because we see such occasions (similar to cruises) as respite from the shackles of dieting, we go overboard. ”

    I can’t wait for your responses! Your question is exactly the problem – great point! I think there’s a difference between giving good, sound advice for being healthy and espousing tips and tricks that manipulate our bodies into eating less and make us think that we can’t control ourselves. It’s a terrible thought, that you can’t enjoy a holiday spread without clutching a clutch in your hand. O.M.G is right! :)
    .-= Margarita Tartakovsky’s last blog post..Yoga, Eating Disorders & Body Image =-.

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