Some Tips to Help Fight Holiday Weight Gain

We start bracing ourselves for the big reveal. Thanksgiving has passed and now it’s time to step on the bathroom scale and see about that holiday weight gain. Maybe it won’t be so bad… or maybe we should wait to look until after the holiday season.

Fighting holiday heftiness can be difficult. The simplest of choices (like the veggie tray or the cheesecake tray?) can mitigate regret come January 1st – even if the regret tastes delicious. But, it doesn’t have to be a losing battle this year. The fact is, you don’t need an in-depth, rigid workout routine to avoid regret. You just need a plan.

Shouldn’t I “Resolve” to Get Rid of Holiday Weight Gain?

We know going into the holidays that it’s going to be a struggle to keep off the unwanted weight. In fact, most of us just accept the fact we gain pounds during the holidays. The majority of us also have good intentions about losing it in the new year, but that rarely lasts beyond Valentine’s Day (hello, clearance chocolate). So, why should we care this early in the game? Why not continue the bulky cycle? The Bible answers that question.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Corinthians 6:19-20)

It’s easy to laugh at ourselves over our battles with our own bodies but it’s important enough to God to include it in Scripture. He cares how we (believers) treat our bodies because they are His earthly home. When we feel sluggish and heavy, we are less motivated to get things done. When lethargy sets in, the desire to get up and go vanishes. Unfortunately, this carries over into good things, like our service to God. Don’t wait until New Year’s to resolve to stay on top of your choices. The battle starts now because it’s not right to keep a sloppy house for the Holy Spirit. As women of God, we must see past the temporal (eating what we want) and look to the eternal (God’s goals first). Here are some easy tips to keep on hand:

⇒ Watch Your Food Groups

The food groups of the holidays are all things cheesy, chocolatey, doughy, and potato-ey. And, let’s be honest, while I’d be perfectly satisfied eating breadsticks and queso all day, that’s going to cost my body. The best way to prevent migrating toward the starch and carbs is to think wholly. Keep the whole food pyramid in mind when filling your plate. If you already have four kinds of potatoes, three types of meat, and a couple desserts… think again. Try adding a veggie, grain, or fruit for every portion of meat, starch, or sweet you have… even if you have to reward yourself with a ham and cheese pinwheel for eating a plateful of broccoli!

⇒ Limit Portion Size and Servings

Appetizers do count! We like to think that nothing before the main course contains any calories– wrong. Holiday appetizers are the best. Don’t even get me started on little smokies. But holiday appetizers are also very quick to lead us off course. They are usually eaten mindlessly, and, by the time the bowl is empty, you have no idea how many calories you’ve just consumed. Take a count of how much you load up on your pre-dinner plate.

Also, remember that our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs. Especially at potlucks or self-served meals, go in with a plan. On the first go around, never stack your food. A good rule of thumb is if it doesn’t fit in one layer on your plate, it’s too much. If the option is available, grab a smaller plate. Wait a while between refills. This gives your stomach a chance to comprehend all the food you’ve just dumped on it. Getting multiple servings back to back doesn’t give you enough time to realize you’re already full.

⇒ Bring a Healthy Holiday Option

If you are asked to bring a dish, just expect that everyone else will supply the sugar and bring a healthy alternative instead. And, no, “healthy” and “nasty” are not synonyms. We’ve got to get that stigma out of our heads. There are plenty of yummy recipes online that are good for your health. And remember you’re not the only one fighting this battle…you might be surprised at how many others will appreciate having a dish without the fat and carbs of the other items on the menu.

⇒ Move, Move, Move!

Whatever we do, the holidays cannot be an excuse to stay settled. After a big meal, go for a quick walk around the neighborhood. Don’t listen to the call of the comfy couch asking you to take a nap. That’s the worst thing you can do on a full stomach. Get up and play with the grandkids or offer to clean dishes– whatever keeps you moving! Staying on your feet balances the extra intake we consume during holidays. Having a regular active routine in place before your New Year’s resolution makes it that much easier to stay ahead.

⇒ And Finally – Cut Yourself a Little Bit of Slack

Few people have made it out of the holiday season unscathed. And that’s okay. This time of year is precious in that family and friends are always together sharing love and warmth, and where love and warmth are, food is sure to be. God created food to be pleasurable to us for a reason; there’s no shame in occasionally enjoying an extra piece of pie or half a container of French onion dip because you’re too wrapped up in your Hallmark movie to notice how fast you’re eating. In other words, don’t be so hard on yourself! Just smile and thank God for blessing you with yummy food, the holiday season, and a healthy body… and then get back on your plan to fight holiday weight gain.

Kim Schmutzler

About the Author

Kim Schmutzler

Kim and her husband, Craig, live in Overland Park KS where she successfully manages a marketing company and homeschools her two children still at home. Twenty-two years of juggling business and homeschooling has taught her a thing or two about time management. In addition to work and family, Kim helps her husband with the College and Career class at the church and also directs the Children's Music Ministry and drama team. The Submissive Spirit was born from her desire to reach out to other Christian women across the globe and share encouragement and the love of Christ.

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