Follow This In Depth Guide of 59 Belly Shrinking Tips To Insure You Don’t Gain Weight Or Pile On The Fat Over The Holidays
Don’t worry! I promise you won’t have to hibernate, miss any parties, bail on any family dinners, or miss any of the fun.
You are still going to have a blast… your just not going to hate yourself after and you won’t have to do the food walk of shame.
I’m also going to make you another promise.
I DO PROMISE you will avoid all the weight gain, the dreaded bulge that is just waiting to pop out over your pants, and that awful feeling you get when you go to put on your favorite pair of pants, only to find that you can’t even zip them up, let alone button them up.
You know EXACTLY what I’m talking about right?
Then you make a New Year’s resolution that could easily be avoided all together as I demonstrate below.
Unfortunately millions of people every year fall victim to holiday weight gain, and the sad part is, most people will never get the weight off and it happens year after year until they’ve gained 100 pounds or more.
Think about this for a minute…
If you gain just 8 pounds a year for the next 10 years, you will add 80 pounds to your body weight.
If you gain 10 pounds a year for the next 10 years, you gain triple digits (100 pounds). Don’t even get me started about all the other ramifications of gaining that kind of weight.
You get the picture right?
Ok, let’s stop this crazy train from rolling on… right now once and for all.
The vicious cycle ends now … if you follow these tips.
1) If You Are Thinking About Going On A Diet After New Year’s You Are Starting Way Too Late
Often you get sucked in to dieting for summer and by the time cooler weather comes around in the fall, you are ready to put the feed bag on, the over-sized sweaters come out, and all the disciplined eating goes out the window?
What about these excuses… it’s football season… I’ve got too many holiday parties for work… I have too many social/family gatherings…
Or the biggest B.S. blanket statement ever made….
“I will start working out and dieting after New Year’s.”
Ha! Let me know how long that works out for you (15 pounds later).
Do this instead: begin to eat sensibly as early as possible and aim for doing this 80% of the time. So if you blow it out 20% of the time, you won’t gain weight.
2) The Day Of Your Big Eating Function(s) Start Your Day With A Vigorous Workout
Before your first meal of the day make sure to have one heck of a work out. At least an hour of the highest intensity training you can handle can help you burn up to 1000 calories. Need to burn more? Try two hours.
Remember you have to REALLY be moving your butt to burn the most calories. So, if you are farting around at the water fountain of your gym, or listening to someone’s story of how their week went, or trying to “pick up” someone you think is “hot”, or any other nonsense, YOU WILL NOT get results.
Your best bet is to get a set of headphones, crank up the tunes, and put a scowl on your face. I’m dead serious. Make yourself unapproachable. This is an “ALL BUSINESS” workout.
Are we straight?
Ok, here are a few examples to burn some serious fat and calories so you can eat and not worry about gaining weight:
- High Intensity Interval Training
- Fast faced aerobics
- Hill sprints accompanied by calorie burning exercises
- Beat the hell out of a tire with a sledge hammer
3) Don’t Make Every Meal Be Out Of Control – Pick And Choose
Here is where many people get in to trouble. If you are glutinous every meal of the day… you are going to gain weight. Plain and simple. Let’s say it is Thanksgiving, and you wake up, eat a huge carb filled meal, have a monstrous unhealthy meal for lunch, eat a bunch of salty, carb heavy snacks in the afternoon, and for dinner you eat like a wild animal who busted in through the doors of a Golden Corral. And to top it all off… you wash it all down with empty calorie drinks.
This is a perfect recipe for MASSIVE weight gain. Do this just one time, let alone multiple times over the holidays and you are SCREWED and so is your waist line.
Instead, let’s say you are eating 3 meals in a day, make sure two of your meals are healthy. Presto! No weight gain here. No guilt and no squeezing into your pants.
4) Stay Away From The Whites
Limit or completely stay away from white flour, white bread, white rice, white potatoes, sugar, and things with crusts that are made from simple carbohydrates.
Substitute the above with sweat potatoes, almond flour, coconut flour, flax meal, quinoa, or cauliflower. You will be surprised how good these alternatives can taste and how eating them will shrink your belly.
The plate below is filled with calories and carbohydrates that will add to your waste line. And… the problem is, most people don’t eat just one. Even the “brown” bread often starts with white flour.
Here are the nutritional contents for each of the above. I got this info from CalorieCount.com. Be sure to check out the sodium content as well.
The processed foods above make me feel very lethargic and I stay away from them because I don’t want to turn into a slug.
5) Go Ahead And Get Used To The Thought That You Most Likely Are Going To Be The “Weird One” Or The Only Person That Actually Cares About What They Are Eating
I can tell you right now that if you go to a family function, party, or business function, the weird uncle (that every one has) or the “negative Nelly” from the office that hates on EVERYBODY, is going to raise their pessimistic heads. I GUARANTEE IT.
Misery loves company and miserable people will attempt to make you feel uncomfortable because you are going against the grain… literally. Did you catch that (against the grain)?
Be strong and remember that it is ok to be different. You will be the one stylin’ and profiling at the beach or pool in the spring in your bikini or board shorts and the miserable people will be covered from head to toe. I’ve seen it. Or, they won’t come out at all. Seen that too.
If it was easy… everyone would be doing it. Over two thirds of Americans are considered overweight or obese and the numbers aren’t getting any better. Don’t be a statistic. Don’t be part of the herd. Be part of the solution. Be a Life Hacking Machine.
6) Alternate Alcohol And Water
I learned this sneaky trick from a wise old man I thought could drink like a fish. Instead, he alternated his libations with water. He was also in pretty good shape.
Ponder this… if a beer has 150 calories and you drink a six pack, that’s a whopping 900 calories. However, you you can slash that total in half if you trade the suds for 3 glasses of water. You can slash over 450 calories off your caloric intake.
7) If You Love To Throw Down And Don’t Want To Have To Buy New Size Clothes, Choose Your Alcohol Wisely
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I put together some charts for some common alcoholic beverages so you can see exactly how many calories you are consuming. The results may shock you. Look at the size of the beverages displayed. When consuming liquor be very cognizant of the portions (you owe it to yourself and your waistline). Also, choose the mixers wisely to literally save yourself from THOUSANDS of extra calories.
Enjoy throwing down, be the life of the party if you desire, but remember that what you choose to drink and how much you decide to swig can be the difference between between being lean and having a muffin top.
Take a look at what you are drinking below:
Jager and Red Bull
Alcohol Hacking: Try adding soda water to your mixed drinks, wine or champagne instead of sugary mixers to reduce the calories
(Yes, I tried it and yes it slowed my consumption down)
8) Too Much Alcohol Has The Ability To Lower Your Inhibitions And That Can Lead To Eating Irresponsibly And Consuming An Extra 6300 Calories In A One Night Binge
Not only can drinking too much lead to DUI’s, urinating in places you shouldn’t, ending up in the wrong bed, duking it out with some random nut job, drinking too much can lead you to consuming a whopping 6,300 calories. The booze makes the food seem to taste and feel so much better going down. When your buzzed, your senses are out of wack and you have problems controlling your impulses.
9) Don’t Put The Feedbag On
This may work for a horse…
But it doesn’t work for humans…
Photo credit: theonion.com
You can watch the “feedbag trend” video here (it’s actually been around for a while): http://www.theonion.com/video/new-wearable-feedbags-let-americans-eat-more-move–14238
FYI – Putting on the feedbag means to eat and not move. Don’t do this.
10) If You Are At A Function That Is Free Pouring Booze, Ask For A Smaller Amount
If you want to watch your calories… ask for the server to use a jigger and pour you an ounce. Or if you really are determined to cut your calories… bring your own. You can pick one up for yourself. This is the Steel Double Jigger I use.
Not only is it functional (below are the specs) it is fantastic conversation starter
- Two sided – flip for different measurements
- Soft, non-slip grip for comfortable pouring
- One side measures a Jigger: 1-1/2-ounce capacity with 3/4-ounce and 1/3-ounce increments, other side measures 1/4-ounce, 1/2-ounce and 1-ounce increments
- Permanent laser-etched measurements won’t wear off
- Dishwasher safe
It is also a #1 Best Selling on Amazon. I can’t say enough about this Steel Double Jigger.
11) Share Food
This little calorie hack works like a charm. Use this If something looks so unbelievable good and you just can’t resist. Ask someone to share it with you. You still get the “feel good – taste good”, but only half the calories.
12) Portion Control
Try this portion control hack. As a rule of thumb, the size of your portions shouldn’t be bigger than the circumference of your closed fist. If you have a huge hand go smaller.
13) Increase Fiber
Fiber makes you feel filled up. Increase your fiber through out the day of your feast and you WILL eat less and not feel as hungry.
If you would like an AWESOME HEALTHY RECIPE, “Click” the following linkto see how I made:
It is SOOOOO simple to make without any of the unhealthy junk you get in processed food and it makes you feel fillled up.
It took only 3 easy steps:
Here’s The Recipe Right Here:
14) Reframe The Event So It’s Not All About Food
Most of us think that the event is all about food. It’s not. Reframe the event. First and foremost be thankful. Be thankful you aren’t working, that you made it to the event, and you get to enjoy another day in this wonderful world. Next, network, get reacquainted with someone you may have lost touch with, or get to know someone new. You open yourself to entirely new possibilities when you are not fixated on food. You could make a new friend, get a new client, or find a new love.
15) When Traveling Pack Your Food
Traveling by car, bus, train, plain, or boat, over the holidays and want to stay the same weight or lose some? It’s easier than you think. Bring your own food. You won’t binge or get hungry when you see the neon fast food establishments you are surrounded by during your travels.
I love this insulated food container. You can pack so much healthy food in here you will never crave junk.
16) Bring Healthy Dishes And Snacks
To avoid the Festive 15 (the equivalent to the freshman 15) bring healthy dishes and snacks. Your body will love you for it. When you have healthy options it is much easier not to be tempted to overindulge.
17) Give It Away
Having a shindig at your house? Try this. Pick up some throw away containers aka cheap plastic containers and give your guests the leftovers. Out of your house equals OUT of your mouth.
Here are the containers I use to give away food I don’t want.
18) Freeze It
Don’t want to be tempted to eat all the leftovers for the next 3 or 4 meals, back to back? Simple solution: freeze the leftovers and eat it in small meals at a later time.
I use the same solution above to save my food in the Freezer.
19) Do Activities That Require You To Get Outside Or Be Active
Sure, it’s easy to get stuffed at the dinner table and mosey on in to the living room and plant your butt on the comfiest couch while staring at the television til the aroma of the magnificent meal you just woofed down starts to call your name back in to the kitchen for you third helping in the last few hours. No. No. NO!!!!
Get outside and be active. Get away from the food. Take a walk, volunteer to push the stroller (if someone has a toddler) around the block, or start a family kickball game. The change of venue accompanied by being active can be a great game changer to thwart weight gain.
20) Eat Beforehand
Eat some healthy meals or snacks before you eat the big meal. You won’t be as hungry.
21) If You Are The One Cooking Avoid Too Many Tastings
Yes, I now just how tempting it can be to taste the food you are cooking, but one small taste is totally different than wacking down 5 large mega bites just to see if the dish is spiced right. I call this one of the “silent killers” that kills your ability to lose fat and lose weight.
22) The Tube Can Lead To Mindless Eating
Sitting in front of the TV can lead to mindless eating that packs on the pounds. If you are dying to watch something, watch it on your mobile and get moving.
23) Walk After Meals
I touched on walking after meals in #19, but I can’t stress how important it is to get some exercise after eating. Continue the conversation you may be having in front of the TV or at the dinner table on the road or treadmill.
24) Apply the 80/20 Rule
Eat healthy 80% of the time. Eat whatever you want (within reason) for the other 20% of the time.
25) Eat Simple Foods
So, you roll into a house party and their is a spread on 2 tables, a coffee table, and the kitchen counter. What are you going to do? Easy. Eat the simple foods rather than the elaborate foods. Cold shrimp, sushi, nuts, cheeses, meats, and veggies all fit this simple food mentality.
26) Choose sweets carefully
Chocolate lovers “High Five” each other!!!! Chocolate and cacao are great choices for desserts. For chocolate,aim for organic and dark. Cacao, not to be confused with cocoa, is a fabulous source of antioxidants, and it is filled with a high concentration of magnesium and iron. Thee is also NO SODIUM. You can use cacao for hot chocolate, baking, adding to coffee, or for using in shakes and desserts, without the fear of busting your pants. I use natural cacao almost every day. This is the Cacao Powder I Use on a daily basis to stay lean and get my chocolate fix.
The 2 pack you can pick up here is about the same price as 1 pack you can get at Whole Foods. Double the amount you get for half the money and FREE shipping if you are a Prime Member.
You can also check out over 754 Reviews and 48 questions answered by clicking the box below.
27) Use Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a fantastic way to control blood sugar, stay alert, and lose fat around the holidays. There are many other benefits that you can read about in my in depth intermittent fasting blog post.
28) Slow It Down
Remember when your mom yelled at you to slow it down and chew your food? She probably didn’t want you to choke. But mom was actually on to something else. When you slow down your eating you will feel full faster and therefore limit your calories.
29) Pick The Stuff You Really Want To Eat
This may sound obvious, but eat what you really want to eat. There is no sense in stuffing yourself with all the foods you really don’t enjoy. Skip the rest and keep your waistline in check. They may say you are weird, but you will stay lean.
30) Grab a Smaller Plate, Bowl, Or Glass
Large plates, bowls and glasses will get filled. Opt for the smaller sizes instead and don’t go back for more.
31) Drink Lots Of Water
Easy to implement and will help you to feel full.
32) Partner Up
Got a partner in crime? They may think like you, act like you, and have the same slimming goals as you. Partners are amazing for staying on task. You can do team up and fight weight gain together.
33) Give In To Your Cravings
This may sound counter intuitive, but some times you just have to give in to your cravings. If you continue to deny yourself, you will most likely binge to feel satisfied. Instead, if you must, eat smaller amounts of the foods you love.
34) Avoid Stressful Situations
Stress can have wildly adverse effects on you both physically and mentally that contribute to your stomach expanding. For example, if driving in rush hour, shopping in crowded malls, eating out during the holidays, or fighting over parking places stresses you out, avoid putting yourself in these types of situations. Shop online, order take out, and keep your activity in the neighborhood.
35) Avoid People Who Stress You Out
There is always someone who is going to stress you out. Avoid these people like the plague. Some people are attention starved and or combative. They will do anything to get attention including getting under your skin.
36) Get Enough Sleep
Late night partying, different time zones, jet lag, and traveling in general can all be contributing factors for not getting enough sleep around the holidays. Being sleep deprived can cause you to run on low energy and you in turn grab comfort foods and beverages for the quick fix. Sleep deprivation throws off your metabolism and it slows down when you don’t get enough sleep.
There are two hormones, gherlin and leptin, which are affected by lack of sleep. Gherlin is the go hormone that tells you to eat and it increases when you don’t get enough sleep. Leptin is the hormone that signals you to not eat and sleep deprivation causes you to have less leptin. Less leptin and more gherlin equals weight gain. Don’t skimp on sleep around the holidays or you will pay for it.
37) Change Your Location
A location change can do wonders for your waistline. You can’t eat if there is no buffet line, no plates of food, no fridge full of left overs, or no full bar, right? A simple change of location or a drastic one can help you from overindulging.
38) If Anyone Needs Help That Will Require You To Get Off Your Butt And Move, Do It
Does someone need help out to their car? Did someone forget something at the store? Does a relative need their grass mowed? Neighbor need leaves raked? This is your time to step up and get moving.
39) Learn To Say No Often
This two letter word can save your waist line and your health. Would you like a dessert? Can I take your drink order? Would you like an appetizer? Would you like seconds? You’ve got to try the pecan pie? Let’s do another shot. Let’s grab another case of beer. You are in serious trouble if you can’t show some restraint and use this little waistline saving word, “No”.
40) Work Out In The Morning The Day After
Let’s say you went hog wild and ate your butt off on the day(s) of your big feast. Don’t skip the workout. This is one of the most important times to turn up the metabolism and get it firing again while burning the calories you just consumed. Working out the day after can often be the difference between weight gain and weight loss.
41) Don’t Eat The Left Overs In The Morning
So, you just went off the rails and ate like you’ve been hibernating for the last 3 months. Now what? You open the refrigerator and fill a plate to the rim of the same food and woof it down as fast as possible right?
Wrong! This can be one of the worst mistakes you can make. Stacking an extra 1,000+ calories to your body the morning after will definitely add to your waistline. Now is the time to get back on track. Remember the 80/20 rule? Apply it now.
42) Avoid Diet Sodas
Diet beverages are a sucker bet. Don’t believe the hype. Diet beverages are notorious for adding to the muffin top and bloating. Most of the artificial ingredients have trouble leaving your body efficiently. A study found that those who drank diet sodas every day had added over 3 inches to their waistlines. Artificial sweeteners have also been shown to alter the bacteria in the gut and change levels of leptin (the hormone that inhibits hunger).
43) Drink Tea
Peppermint and chamomile teas help suppress the appetite. Brew a large pot in the morning and sip throughout the day.
44) Avoid Sodium And Salt
Yes, I could have added this to (#4 -Stay Away From The Whites). But I wanted to stress how important it is to watch your salt intake. Beyond damaging the heart, kidneys, blood vessels, and brain, salt bloats you. The only time to add salt to food (if you just can’t say, “NO”) is if it is raw (or frozen with no salt added). Never add salt to canned food, packaged food, or frozen meals. These foods usually are so unbelievably high in sodium content that adding salt could put you in the danger zone. You should consume no more than 1500mg of salt each day. Try for less.
Here’s another reason to avoid too much salt. Too much salt can stress you out by causing the nervous system to overreact in stressful situations. So, if your in-laws already stress you out, and you are already spring loaded just thinking about seeing them, think really hard about shaking the salt shaker or consuming high sodium foods.
45) If You Can’t Avoid Sodium Up The Potassium
If for some reason there is no way for you to avoid salt, the one thing you can do is up your potassium intake. Potassium counterbalances sodium – bananas, cantaloupe, strawberries and papayas are good sources of potassium.
46) Game Plan, Don’t Wing It
If you really want to get serious about losing weight or maintaining your weight, you have to “game plan”. Refer to this definitive list and follow what works for you. Set your limits and stick to them.
47) Stay Motivated
Find out your “Why” and your “What” to keep you motivated. What is your end goal? Why are you doing what you are doing?
48) When You Go Out Be Disciplined From This Day Forward
A little discipline each day will lead to a reduction in waist size. You may not see immediate results, especially if you have been eating like a kid in a candy shop for a very long time. But you will see noticeable results in a very short time… if you stick with it.
49) Don’t Stack Bad Meals After Bad Meals
Stacking bad meal after bad meal is what makes you fat. It’s not the first meal, but the subsequent meals that pack on the weight. Instead make the bad meals the exception, not the norm. Imagine eating 18 healthy meals in a week and eating only 3 bad meals. Guess what happens… you turn in to a fat burning life hacking machine.
50) Eat The Meats
Consuming foods high in proteins are a superb way to battle the bulge and fight diabetes. Grass fed, free range, organic and hormone free are the best options. Processed meats, like the kind at the deli counter are the worst. Read the labels like your life depends on it because it does.
51) Eat Organic And Hormone Free As Much As Possible
As I mentioned in #50 regarding meats, also opt for eating organic and hormone free as often as you can. Sure you spend a little more money, but I call it the “stay lean tax”. Trust me, you are worth every dollar you spend to maintain or increase your health.
51) Skip The Casseroles Unless…
Many casseroles call for adding canned soups that just happen to be super high in sodium. Opt for low sodium and low carb varieties.
52) Swap Potatoes For Sweet Potatoes Or Mashed Cauliflower
It seems that many traditional holiday meals are served with mashed potatoes. Substitute potatoes for sweet potatoes or mashed cauliflower. Your body will thank you. See #4 for more info on avoiding the whites.
53) Be Ok With A Bad Meal Not Several Bad Meals
I’ve touched on this concept in this list but wanted to stress it again just to make sure it sinks in:)
54) Understand Eating Fats Won’t Make You Fat
This was the hardest thing for me to understand before I changed how I ate. It is ok to eat fat. Olive oil, coconut oil, almonds, avocados, flax seed, salmon, herring, mackerel, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are a few examples of healthy fats to consume. Fats also help you stay full and are vital to your health.
55 ) Eat Earlier In The Day If It All Possible
Eating late and hitting the hay are a fat adding combination that will stick a fork in your fat loss hopes. Instead, lobby for eating your big meal at lunch time or early afternoon at the latest so you have plenty of time to be active after the big meal.
56) Leftovers Are Ok
Let’s say you don’t want to give away your left overs (#17) and you don’t want to freeze theme (#18) try this fat loss hack. Instead of eating a huge meal that you are going to feel guilty about, eat smaller meals for lunch over the next several days. This way you will be able to enjoy the goodness in smaller amounts and keep the good times rolling and the fat loss firing. Leftovers are Ok and you shouldn’t have to feel like you have to shove them all in to one meal or have them hanging off your plate. Go slow, steady, and remember to use the size of your fist as a reference point.
57) Don’t Feel Guilty
Guilt can lead to stress and emotional issues that can hinder you from reaching your goals. Guilt can lead to accurate or inaccurate feelings. Instead use what you learn here to plan for a successful holiday eating campaign.
58) Tell Stories, Listen To Stories
One of the best ways to stop eating is to encourage everyone at your gathering to tell a story. If you are the one doing the talking, you won’t be shoveling in the food. And if you are listening intently, you won’t consume as much food either. If you don’t have a good story to tell, ask people what’s new, exciting, or what they are thankful for. These questions usually get the conversation started.
59) Visualize How You Will Look And Feel In The Future Due To Your Healthy Choices Today
You have to see the “Big Picture”. If you are just thinking about “now”, you are less likely to be able to stick to a healthy lifestyle.
This is very important…
Vision your future self. What will you look like? What will you feel like? Who will you be with? Where will you be?
How does your new life compare to where you are now?
Dangle the carrot. Everyone has to have something to reach for and to strive for. What are you aiming for? Do you want to lose 30 pounds? Do you want more energy so you can accomplish more? Do you want to run a race? Do you want to lower your body fat? Do you want to be in a bikini by spring? What’s your carrot?
Well, a super effective key to your success is to vision your “FUTURE YOU”.
Each morning and each night close your eyes and vision your new self (as described above). Repeating this process over and over again will plant the seed you need to get through the tough times and keep you on track to reach your goals. Before you can do anything you have to believe it can happen and using visualization and your imagination are essential to your success.
Now Make It Happen! You Can Do It!
That’s it! Now go out and make the best of your holidays without gaining the weight and shrinking your belly now and in the future. Bookmark this page so you can refer to it every time you need a little motivation or guidance to get you back on track.
Enjoy Your Holidays And Join The Conversation Below!
P.S. – Add your comments, questions, and successes or failures you’ve had with holiday weight loss or weight gain. I look forward to hearing from you and responding to YOU.
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