Thursday, August 13th, 2020

7 Easy Steps to Avoid Gaining a Pound This Holiday Season!

Published on December 11, 2009 by   ·   9 Comments Pin It

Supermom and nutritional counselor Katherine Pennington (of Be in Balance) gives us some incredibly useful tips on how to keep your gorgeous figure this holiday season;

If you are anything like me, right now you are probably racing around like crazy trying to address all of your holiday cards, fighting the lines at American Girl and Toys r’ us for the gift that your children just have to have, desperately trying to find a gift for your Hubbie on top of trying to balance the endless demands of school and work-related end of year school plays, singing recitals and cocktail parties!

For this reason, I am going to make this month’s column short and simple. Follow these guidelines and I promise you won’t gain a pound and will probably end up even losing a bit. Impossible? Read on!

1) Minimize holiday drinking to 1-2 drinks per night 2 days a week!
One glass of wine has about 100 calories, 1 beer about 100-125 calories and 1 glass of vodka has 170 calories. You don’t have to be some boring teetotaler and really no one even needs to know! Decide what nights you are going to have a drink and on those nights limit your drinking to 1-2 drinks. So, what to do at a cocktail party? When you get to the party, have a glass of regular or sparkling water with lemon first, then have water again after your first glass of wine. You may even find you don’t want the second one! What about a seated dinner? By all means, don’t call attention to yourself by refusing wine! Instead, have your glass filled and sip water all night every once in a while bringing your wine glass to your lips especially when speaking with the hostess! I promise you- no one will notice! I am probably ruining my Hubby’s trick (sorry Oliver) but he could not believe this fact when he did it at several work dinners. Cutting back on a few drinks a week can lead to saving 1200-1500 calories per month, which is the equivalent of 1 pound! Additionally, when we drink, our inhibitions are down and we end up consuming more food, which is a vicious cycle. More drinks, more food, more calories, more packing on the pounds!

2) Have a salad before you go out!
No, I am not talking about the crouton and cheese covered variety but have a plain old green salad dressed with a simple olive oil, lemon and sea salt or even a simple vinaigrette dressing. Doing this will mean that you will not arrive at the party famished and your first thought will not be to head straight to the food or devour the bread basket! Eating leafy greens will also alkalinize your body and give you necessary enzymes, which ultimately will help speed up your metabolism and lose weight!

3) Drink water with lemon when you arrive at the party.
I have alluded to this before but drinking the water with lemon will not only fill you up but the lemon is a detoxifier and will help balance out your blood sugar levels, particularly if you arrive at a party starving! It will also help with digestion. Also, having water with lemon will hydrate your body allowing a better recovery the next day!

4) Go for the crudite plate!
Fill up your plate with crudite and then move away from the buffet. Before you go back, make sure you eat all your veggies. Avoid cheese, fried foods, goopy salads and breads, which will make you look and feel bloated and will only increase your appetite.

5) Get to the gym and make time for yourself!
Make yourself and your health a priority! This may seem simple and it certainly sounds cliche but put your workouts in your schedule as you would taking your daughter to ballet or going to the dentist! If someone asks you to come to a meeting or to make a commitment during this time, just say no- you have an appointment. It is true- you have an appointment with yourself! This point might take some practice but it helps! If you are tired, take a nap. Loss of sleep is linked to the body’s inability to regulate insulin and, ultimately, to weight gain. To read more about this, go to Sleep is Important. When you run yourself into the ground, your body goes into a “fight or flight” mode and secretes the hormone cortisol, which helps the body convert protein into glucose or sugar. When this glucose is not used it is turned into fat.

6) If you lose your sense of control, excuse yourself from the table or party.
This is one of the best strategies I talk about with my clients. If you are at a dinner and cannot stop devouring your entire meal or stop eating the bread, then excuse yourself from the table, go to the bathroom and take several deep breaths and calm yourself. If you are at a party, this system works the same way. Often when we are beginning to overeat or lose control around food, we are doing so out of anxiety. So, just take yourself out of the situation for a moment. Then, come back to the table and make better choices.

7) Decide when you are going to treat yourself and do away with the guilt!
What is it that you most like about the holiday season (apart, of course, from your family and the feeling of giving). Do you just love your mother’s pecan pie and cannot do without it? Does your sister make the most delicious pecan brittle? Depriving yourself of food that you love and then feeling guilty when you eat it, only sets yourself up for failure.

Adhere to the guidelines above, and then decide that you are going to have the pecan pie on Christmas Day. Then have it, and enjoy it. Not only will you be less tempted during the holidays knowing that you will have something to look forward to, but you will not gorge on other foods trying to satisfy the cravings.
These simple tricks may seem easy but follow them and I promise they will make a big difference. Who knows these tricks may even serve you after the holidays!

Excerpted from Katherine’s monthly column on the Family Groove ( Katherine offers holistic health and lifestyle counseling for women and men who want to lose weight, gain energy, sleep better, reduce stress, get in shape and achieve a greater sense of well-being, balance and happiness in their lives and those of their families.   Katherine is also a raw food chef and teacher and oversees juice fasts for clients. As a mother of two children, Katherine also helps with family meal planning on nutrition. To find out more , please visit

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Readers Comments (9)

  1. beforewisdom says:

    About 3 years ago I used calorie counting ( it is not that bad! ) to lose 48 pounds.

    I couldn’t calorie count holiday meals, so I took the advice of a slim professional food critic to make it a point to enjoy my holiday meals. Her advice was not to enjoy food not by zoning out in the mechanical process of eating, but to be fully focused on being aware of and appreciating the taste of the food. Like a food critic getting information for a review.

    I decided to have 1 (non-heaping) plate of whatever I wanted. I combined that with not eating again after the meal until I felt physical hunger( a grumbling, contracting stomach ).

    I discovered that the taste of my food was the same no matter how much I ate and that I actually enjoyed my food more eating less while staying with the taste more.

    My weight loss slightly slowed for a few days after each holiday meal, but I didn’t gain any weight.

  2. beforewisdom says:

    My apologies about the incoherent post. I’m not a natural writer and I haven’t had my caffeine yet :).

    If the blog master/mistress considers adding a plugin to let commentators edit their posts I will not complain! :)

  3. […] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » 7 Easy Steps to Avoid Gaining a Pound This Holiday Seas… – view page – cached Supermom and nutritional counselor Katherine Pennington (of Be in Balance) gives us some incredibly useful tips on how to keep your gorgeous figure this holiday season; […]

  4. Mandi says:

    Great tips. The lemon water thing is brilliant!

  5. OrganiKooK says:

    Great tips. I love the salad idea. It really works. I have been doing that for a long time. There is usually a serious lack of leafy greens when I go to parties (unless I am bringing them-I am the “salad” queen), so this way I don’t have to worry, and I don’t pig out!

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