This post probably contains affiliate links, to items I am in love with, and I am confident you will too! For any health advice I give on nutrition and wieghtloss, make sure you check with your doctor, as I am not a health professional. I am just a mama with lots of health and fitness knowledge and experience.
Many mamas just accept weight gain during the holiday season, and plan on losing that way once January hits. It is much easier to enjoy the holidays if you want to be able to eat all the cookies, all the comfort food and just live in stretchy pants. If that works for you, then go for it! But, you don’t have to go one way or the other. If you aren’t losing weight, you don’t need to be gaining weight, you can just maintain your current weight! And, it actually isn’t that hard because your are already set at that weight, so if you kinda stay in your routine and caloric intake, you don’t have to go through the weight gain and weight loss roller coaster!
If you are a breastfeeding mama, it can get super easy to binge on all the cookies, choclates and sweets because we know breastfeeding causes major sugar cravings! I highly recommend starting your day with this shake, specifically made for breastfeeding mamas to curb those sugar cravings, nourish the postpartum body and keep that milk supply soaring.
Here are the steps you can take to NOT gain any weight over the holidays:
Never go to a party or dinner hungry:
Now, you might think you should save your appetite for all the good food at a party or dinner. You can totally still save your calories for the party, but you don’t want to be starving because you will over eat. The key is to fill up on nutrient-dense and water-dense fruits and vegetables before you go. Have some apples and pumpkin hummus (I promise it is so good!!), or some cucumbers and regular hummus. Even eat a pre-dinner salad with lots of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and other dense vegetables to fill up your stomach. This will allow you to still eat and ENJOY the dinner and dessert, but not overeat and feel sick or tired after.
Save your calories for what you really want:
Depending on what and when you are eating a holiday-themed meal, you are probably looking forward to some aspect of it. For thanksgiving it might be the pumpkin pie or mashed potatoes. Rather than arriving starving, as mentioned above, user your other meals as opportunities to fill up on lower-calorie, but still nutrient-dense foods. These are basically fruits and vegetables. Have a large fruit salad for lunch, or an awesome pumpkin pie protien shake that is super filling, but not going to put you behind on calories at all! I highly recommend protein shakes for weight loss, as well as maintaining your weight, of course with the BEST TASTING protein powder ever!
Walk extra miles:
Adding in an extra couple of miles of walking is like giving yourself a couple hundred calories. I ALWAYS tell people to calibrate their workouts in milkes, rather than time becasue you can walk super slow for 20 minutes, or run for 20 minutes and the calorie burn is WAY different. If you walk a mile, or run a mile, the calorie burn is much closer because it is distance-based. By adding in 2-3 miles of walking you are giving yourself more room for calories. And walking isn’t hard to do. If the weather is freezing outside, or snowing, walk around yourself and add in more steps.
Add veggies or salad to EVERY meal:
DO NOT skip the veggies or salad at dinner because you had a salad earlier. Your body needs veggies and protein to make milk if you are breastfeeding, and thrive, more than it needs mashed potatoes, so remember eating isn’t just for enjoyment. The first purpose of eating is to nourish your body. Make sure to enoy the turkey, mashed potatoes or stuffing with salad or even green bean casserole. This will help ensure you get lots of nutrients and fiber to ensure you feel full when you are really full. What happens when you only eat low-fiber and low-nutrient food is your full-signals get behind.
Don’t dramtically reduce your eating to compensate for a large meal:
If you restrict your eating after a large meal, this begins a stressful eating pattern. But, if you aren’t hungry, that’s a different story. Many times, after a large meal, the day after you are less hungry. That’s no problem, and you shouldn’t eat until you are hungry. If you feel like skipping breakfast naturally, then skip it. Your body is signalling to you that you don’t need the extra food. But, if you are still dealing with hunger, you may not have eaten as much as you thought, or your body is increasing appetite because of the increased calorie intake. That’s not a big deal. Just make sure to get in a lot of fruits and veggies and protein shakes, rather than trying to avoid eating all together.
Don’t weight yourself everyday:
Don’t worry about the scale during the holidays. Do your best to eat within your needs, and enjoy your food responsibly. Your weight will go up after higher-carb meals, or higher-salt meals. This is just water weight that will come off as things normalize. I suggest weighing yourself before thanksgiving, then not again until a week or so after to give yourself a chance to get back in your normal routine. The same concept for Christmas and other holidays. Just give yourself a week or more to normalize after the parties and meals before you see where you are at.
Make your holiday fun active:
Adding in more activity is really important, especially when kids are home from school. Play a game of chase, a snowball fight, build a snowman, have a holiday dance party or do a family turkey trot race. Don’t settle for sitting around the house all day. I promise you will feel so much better as a family with more activity!
Most of you are probably breastfeeding, or new mamas, and it is really important to stick to these tips because properly nourishing your body for milk supply and healing postpartum is so important! I have tons of fabulous recipes, and a cookbook with calorie-counts coming in my program, so you can follow the program and tips even through the holidays. I will be offering a Black Friday sale on The Postpartum Cure as well as Milk Dust, so make sure you’ve signed up for one of my email lists to stay informed!