7 Helpful, Healthy Strategies for the Holidays

by JJ Virgin on October 28, 2016

This holiday season, banish any ideas of deprivation! You can sail through Halloween, Thanksgiving, and beyond and still be the best fat burner… with these strategies.

Starting in early October, it seems like every office function, neighborhood party, and family get-together revolves around food.

Healthy eating rules suddenly go out the window. People who lunch on salads the rest of the year suddenly start pushing trays full of Nutella fudge and cheese tartlets like they’re working on commission!

Combine that with the stress and hectic schedule of the holiday season, and it’s easy to fall into a cycle of overindulging, regret, and unwanted growth around your midsection. (Not to mention that fueling your body with challenging, inflammatory foods interferes with everything your mood, your immune system, and of course, fat burning.)

The holidays do NOT have to mean stress-fueled emotional eating, gaining extra pounds, or feeling hungover and slightly nauseous for the last month of the year! It’s time for a happy, healthy holiday season.

With that in mind, these seven strategies can give you a metabolic edge to navigate the holiday season without succumbing to high-sugar impact temptations!

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1. Pay attention to breakfast. What you eat in the morning sets your metabolic tone for the rest of the day. Start off with a muffin and a venti skinny latte, and you automatically up your chances of a midday energy crash! (It’s a lot harder to resist frosted sugar cookies when you’re running on empty…)

Break your morning fast with a protein smoothie (learn how to make the PERFECT loaded smoothie here), and you’ve got a head start on both resisting holiday munchies and fighting off that virus that’s going around. 1-3

2. Move more. Getting exercise doesn’t just promote weight loss – it also balances the hormones that control your appetite and make you feel happy!

One of the best ways to combat holiday stress and overeating is to work out regularly. That doesn’t mean hours at the gym! Just eight minutes a day is all it takes to burn more fat and feel less stressed.

3. Make sleep a priority. Getting seven to nine hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night is vital to maintaining a healthy weight, a strong immune system, and a positive mentality during the holidays. Everything gets better with great sleep!

Research proves that missing out on just one night’s rest causes a spike in hormones that make you feel hungry, cranky, and mentally foggy.4,5

Sleep Candy™  is my go-to formula to safely fall and stay asleep… every single night! *

4. Eat before you go. You’re a lot less likely to fall prey to pastry-wrapped brie and a second glass of rosé if you have a sensible meal before the party.

Instead of relying on your host to provide diet-friendly options, eat dinner by the plate with clean protein, veggies, and healthy fats at home. (It also doesn’t hurt to keep a Co-Co Crave Fiber Bar in your bag, just in case…)

5. Use the three-bite rule. Take three polite bites, then put the fork down! That’s enough to taste your best friend’s caramel cheesecake, but not enough to derail your diet. (And when I say “polite bites,” I mean the kind you’d eat on live TV, not standing in front of your fridge at midnight.)

6. Don’t let the enemy into the house. You probably have that one favorite that proves irresistible. (Mine’s almond butter. One spoonful becomes… more than one spoonful.)

Make things easy on yourself and don’t let that food into the house… or glove compartment, desk, and wherever else you might stash it.

I get it: That’s not always possible. If your daughter brings home cookies from the bake sale, or your neighbor brings over her famous fruitcake, give it away or put it away. Out of sight, out of mind!

7. Get some downtime. Ever notice that you always seem to gain weight or get sick when life is at its most stressful? That’s not a coincidence!

Stress raises the hormone cortisol, and elevated cortisol means you store more fat, have a hard time sleeping, and can’t fight infection effectively.6 (Find out more in this blog: Cavemen and Cortisol: How to Lower Your Stress Hormones Naturally)

Make time during the holidays to relax and enjoy yourself, and don’t get cornered into stressful activities.

If building a gingerbread house with your kids makes you crazy, find a new holiday tradition that doesn’t! It’s also okay to offer a loving-but-firm “no thank you” to holiday party invites.

Here’s wishing you and yours the very healthiest, happiest holiday season!

The holidays present enough challenges! What to eat shouldn’t be one of them. With my Holiday Help Cheat Sheet, you’ll have all of the tools you need to navigate this season smartly. Get your guide FREE here.

The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Statements contained here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

1 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16469977
2 http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/5/1558S.long
3 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17403271
4 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20371664
5 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831987/
6 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2474765/