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How to Lose Your Holiday Weight Gain

holiday weight gain


No need for the pleasantries here folks, this situation is mission critical so let's get right into it. Here are the five main reasons you packed on pounds over the holidays.

Reason number one is that you ate a ton of sodium. Remember that mac and cheese, and all of those dips you ate? Well, they're both delicious and loaded with excess sodium.

Reason number two is that you ate a ton of carbs from the chocolate layer cakes, pies, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.

Reason number three could be that you also drank a ton of alcohol, or at least a lot more than you're used to drinking.

Reason number four may be that you simply ate more calories than your body needed.

Reason number five is that you're just full of sh*t. By that I mean all of the glorious holiday food is making you constipated or irregular.

Now that you know the potential reasons for your weight gain, you can effectively address each. Keep reading to find your game-plan for quickly shedding your holiday weight.

If you.....

- Ate A Ton Of Sodium

- Ate A Ton Of Carbs

- Drank A Ton Of Alcohol

holiday weight gain sodium

Consuming excess sodium, carbs, and alcohol causes excess water retention. In fact, the majority of the weight you gained over the holidays was actually water retention. Studies show that the average person only gains one pound of actual body fat during the holidaysand the rest is water, poop, etc. Now that's a much less intimidating number than the 5-10lb weight gain your scale showed right?

Do this...

Grab a 32oz bottle of water and make a goal to drink 4 of them every day for a week. Or, grab a 20oz bottle and drink 6 of them every day for a week. The point is to hold yourself accountable to drinking about a gallon of water every day. When you're battling water retention, remember that more is more because when your body is properly hydrated it sheds any excess water keeping only what it needs. Drinking a gallon of water per day may be difficult at first, but soon your body will adjust to the level of hydration and will crave it. Also, your skin and hair will thank you.

Get a sweat in whether at home or in the gym. One of the main ways your body releases excess water weight is through sweating. Therefore, the goal here is to perspire and flush out the retained water. Also working out and sweating will make it easier for you to reach your water goal because you'll need to stay hydrated.

Drink a cup of black coffee. Another way your body releases water retention is through peeing. Coffee is a natural diuretic which makes you pee more frequently and flush out excess water. If you go this route, make sure to continue drinking enough water to stay hydrated. If you don't drink enough, the dehydration can lead to constipation and excess water retention. Thus the cycle starts all over again.

If you.....

- Ate More Calories Than Your Body Needed

Holiday weight

Any time you consistently eat more calories than your body needs you will gain some body fat. Still, there are loads of practical ways to shed any excess holiday fat gain that does not involve punishing yourself. Therefore, resist the urge to crash diet because that can set off a yo-yo effect of bad food habits.

Do this...

Set a goal to burn 500 calories in your workout no matter what. One pound of body fat is equal to 3,500 calories. Remember that the average person only gains one actual pound of body fat. Therefore, if you only consume as many calories as your body needs and burn 500 calories every day for a week, you'll burn that holiday weight off quickly. You can learn how many calories your body needs using a macro calculator and you can track your calories burned with a heart rate monitor like a polar watch.

Return to your typical pre-holiday diet instead of crash dieting. Avoid detoxes and liquid diets, if you give your body the nutrients and exercise it needs, it will detox itself and in a much healthier manner. The goal isn't to just drop your holiday weight, but to also create lasting fitness habits to keep the weight off.

Do more lower body and compound movement workouts to burn more calories. Your butt and leg muscles are the largest muscles in your body. Therefore they require more energy and burn more calories during exercise. If you've been lax about working your lower body, try adding in a couple more leg workouts. Consider doing a couple compound movement workout days. Compound movement exercises use multiple muscle groups at a time and therefore burn more calories than isolation workouts. Squats, lunges, and deadlifts are all compound movement exercises so consider adding them to your routine.

If you.....

- Are Constipated or Irregular

holiday weight gain constipation

Constipation is often an overlooked cause of weight gain. It's triggered by consuming excess dairy, foods high in fat and sugar, not drinking enough water, and eating too few fruits and veggies. In short, your holiday food festivities are an exact breeding ground for an irregular poop schedule. Stool can add up to five excess pounds for the average person, and let's not overlook the discomfort. While constipation is a temporary condition, it's still important to factor it into any post-holiday weight gain to avoid too much panic.

Do this...

Add some healthy fats, berries, or black coffee to your diet. If you're constipated, the fiber found in foods like berries help you form a bulky-solid stool. However, a common misconception is that it is fiber that encourages bowel movements. It is actually fat that triggers bowel movememts. So add some extra virgin olive oil to your meal to get the party started. Coffee is also a great option. It can provide some instant relief as the caffeine stimulates bowel movements and promotes intestinal muscle contraction. Make sure to keep the coffee black though; you don't want to add excess calories in pursuit of a much-needed poop.

The holidays are about family, fun, and dare I say it-food. Use these tips to help you treasure your time with no regrets.