Fat & Weight Loss , Nutrition, food, & eating

Weight Loss Tips For Holiday Feasting Season

Author: Kevin Driscoll
December 13, 2023

Tis’ the season!


Tasty treats.


Holiday parties.


And gallons of good ole’ hot cocoa! 


No hot cocoa?


Ok, more for me!

As you know, the holiday season brings warmth, joy, and togetherness with loved ones. It also brings the office potlucks, holiday gatherings, and all the snowman sugar cookies in the world.


And this is what’s going through your head:


“How am I going to continue making progress?”


“I’m going to ruin all the progress!”


“AHHHH! What the F*CK!!! afhfkjahfdskhPEN!SSSSS!!!”



Well, in this blog, I will give you all the strategies for holiday feasting and the tools to be mindful that empower you to relish the festivities without succumbing to the pitfalls of excessive indulgence and letting your progress fall by the wayside.


Hint: You get to enjoy all the holiday parties and treats still!


Let’s Clear This Up.

You can’t screw this up.


You can not screw up the progress you have made to this point.


No matter the mistakes and setbacks, you will succeed as long as you never quit - keep at it!



... A Couple of Side Notes ...


Progress is Progress!

Here is a great shift to make with your perspective regarding the holiday season.


Not losing any weight and maintaining the progress you’ve already made to this point is progress.


Gaining 3 pounds this holiday season vs. the usual 10 pounds you gained in years past is progress.


Being more consistent with your habits than you were last year at this time is progress.



Shift your mindset to recognize and appreciate these various forms of progress beyond losing weight or what the number on the scale says. 


It emphasizes that progress isn't solely defined by the number on the scale but by various achievements and choices that contribute to you overall health. Whether it's maintaining weight, losing a modest amount, or making consistent, mindful choices, each step forward is indeed progress, no matter the size. 


This mindset promotes a healthier relationship with health and well-being. 


Food is More Than Fuel.

Here is my last note.

It’s important to know that, yes, food is fuel. But it is also so much more than that!


It's a celebration.


It’s a memory.


It's an experience.



There is nothing bad about enjoying a celebration with your family or going out with old friends and creating memories.


Knowing that food is more than just fuel creates such a healthier and more balanced relationship with your nutrition.


Ok, back to the strategies!


Look at the Big Picture:

It’s a HoliDAY, Not a HoliMONTH.

When we look at this entire month, there are a handful of days you will realize there are celebrations and parties. The rest of them are just another typical day in your life.


One of the most underrated tips for staying consistent is planning.



Plan your days and weeks when it comes to your nutrition and training.


It’s never that you missed a workout or fell off track for a meal; it’s that you wait until Monday or the following month to get back on track. 


Start to get a better grasp on putting a plan together.


Look at the week and see what days your holiday celebrations are. What days are standard days for you where you can still stay on track with things? What days are parties where you can be more flexible or go bananas during those parties and celebrations?


Just remember, it's not one meal or day that makes progress; it’s about what you do most of that time. Planning will help with you staying consistent and taking care of what needs to be done most of the time.


Practical Tips to Manage, Yet Enjoy Delicious Holiday Foods

Slow is Sexy

Man, if I had a nickel every time my mom used to (and still) tells me to slow down when I eat, I would be a nickel-ionaire.


Yet, behind the humor lies lots of truth.


Slow is sexy. 



Slowing things down while you’re eating allows you to help manage your overall intake of food.

As you can still eat all the delicious treats this season, this strategy allows you to better manage the total amount of calories you have.


So instead of woofing down 20 cookies, you slow things down and you will feel satsified after having 1 or 2.


Instead of eating 2 full plates of food in 10 minutes, slow things down and you realize you are unable to finish the one plate you got.


By consciously slowing things down, you allow your stomach and brain to work together and allow yourself to check in with your hunger, which gives you time to feel satisfied and full.


So put down utensils between bites, pause for 2-3 minutes halfway through your meal, and engage in conversation. You allow our bodies the time to signal fullness rather than overeating and putting yourself into a coma for the rest of the day. 


As we know, Mom knows best, so taking this advice can be the key to helping you manage your nutrition without cutting out any specific foods.


1-Plate Rule

The 1-Plate Rule is a fantastic tool during holiday dinner parties and the office potluck. It is great to help manage your nutrition while still enjoying your favorite holiday treats.


Here's how it works: 


You're granted one standard-sized plate (not a lunch tray). Feel free to load it up with all your favorite holiday treats – from mashed potatoes and mac n cheese to dinner rolls soaked in better. 


The catch? 


Once that plate is filled, consider your feast complete.



This offers flexibility in food choices while still regulating overall portions. It ensures satisfaction by allowing you to enjoy your favorite dishes without going overboard. 


The 1-Plate Rule is a phenomenal mindful tool to make the most of holiday gatherings without compromising your goals.


Go Lighter-for-Later

Whenever you have a social event, applying this lighter-for-later approach works wonders to stay on track and hit your targets.


Simply put, you are just working backward.


So you are eating fewer calories in the day to eat more calories later on.



If I get 1,800 calories a day, depending on how much I want to indulge a little bit later on, I will save about 40-60% of my calories for later that evening.


I may do something along the lines of 450 calories for each breakfast and lunch to have 900 calories to give myself flexibility for that social event.


Saving calories for later by eating less earlier in the day can help you enjoy social events with still allowing yourself to hit and manage your calories for the day. It's all about planning and balancing so you can indulge a bit without feeling guilty.


Water Before Each Meal

One effective strategy to curb overindulgence and extra treats at the office or dinner party is to adopt the habit of drinking a big ol' glass of water before each meal. 


This is simple yet powerful.


This tip can help manage portions and promote a sense of fullness to help prevent overeating. 


Drinking some water prior to a meal serves as a natural appetite suppressant, leading to a decreased likelihood of overeating. It makes it easier to resist the temptation of consuming excess calories during these social gatherings or work-related events. 



BONUS: If you also want to manage alcohol intake, throw in a glass of water in between each drink to help break up how fast you consume an alcoholic beverage.


Incorporating this practice into your holiday plan can support your overall well-being but can also create a sense of fullness, reducing the likelihood of excessive food intake.


"What to do After a Day of Indulgence?!"

Or as others would say, “How do I get back on track?”


This is one of the most over-thought questions out there.


Because “How do you get back on track?”


Well, by getting back on track.



Get back to doing what you were doing before falling off track.


Go on a walk.


Get a workout.


Drink some water.


Eat some protein.


Eat some fruits and vegetables.


You are always one action away from being right back on track. Don’t overthink this one.



As the holiday season approaches, it's important to remember that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to the holiday festivities. 


Whether you choose to indulge a bit extra on these seasonal treats or opt for a more mindful approach to continue or manage your progress, there's no wrong answer. 


What matters is aligning your actions with your expectations. 


So, if you are looking to progress with managing this holiday season better than last year, apply these tips above!


The holiday season provides a unique opportunity to cultivate our healthy habits, practice mindful eating, and prioritize long-term wellness over short-term results.



And if you need more help on your weight loss journey to have more support, someone hold you accountable, and help you take all of the thinking out of it for you, click HERE to schedule a time for us to chat!



As I Am


PS: Here are some other really helpful articles I wrote that can be a huge help during the Holiday Season:


About Author
Kevin Driscoll

Hey there! I'm an online personal trainer and nutrition coach, and I've helped hundreds of people achieve their weight loss and fitness goals without restricting them from their favorite foods or spending overtime in the gym. Let's work together!



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