Creating a Life Free From Chaos

5 Ways to be Well In Spite of Holiday Eating

This is a guest post by Nicole Akers.
5 Ways to Be Well
Let’s bust a myth you probably believe.

Myth: Most people gain 7-10 lbs over the holiday season. Click To Tweet

It’s a widely believed myth, and it’s worth tweeting because it’s not true.

The holiday season means different things to different people. It is loosely defined as mid-November through the beginning of February. The holidays come around once a year, and everyone wants to feel special. Eat special. Drink special.

All those special allowances lead to a perception of gaining a lot of weight.

During the 6-8 week binge, most people gain 1-2 lbs, not 5 lbs or more.

Most people gain 1-2 lbs, not 5 lbs or more over the holidays. Click To Tweet

How do we know?

This study by The National Institute of Health suggests people don’t gain as much weight as they think they do.

Nearly 200 adult participants are weighed before the holidays, during the holidays, after the holidays, and again in Spring to Fall the following year. The net gain is 1-2 lbs.

Once we bust the myth and deal with the reality of the situation, we are ready to start the New Year in a better place.

You probably only have a couple of pounds to lose. If the season meant more merriment than usual, it’s time to get back on track.

Here are several choices to be well:

  • Diet
  • Detox
  • Move/exercise
  • Eat healthier
  • Make it lifestyle
  • Be proactive


There are a multitude of diets to choose from. There are weight loss plans with scales and points, celebrity, diets, no carb diets…the list goes on. Preferences and food sensitivities make choosing a diet nearly impossible as a one-fits-all approach.

Nutrition and health experts got together to create a list of 38 best and worst diets. The DASH diet received high marks for the sixth year running. Highly mentioned are the Mediterranean, and the Mind diets. Diets judged as poor performers are Atkins, Paleo, Dukan, and Whole30 diets.

Most diets are a short-term solution. They require a high level of intensity and are not successful for long-term change. Let’s look at other options for lifestyle changes.


There are a plethora of detox treatments available. You can enlist the help of a 3-day detox, or 21-day detox.

Too many holiday sweets? A sugar detox might help.

Are you stressed from holiday parties, events, and family members?

It’s time to break down the cortisol that hangs on to extra weight around the waistline.

There are almost as many detox options as there are diet choices.

If you want to sluff off toxins and burn fat, add some lemon juice to lukewarm or warm water to start your day. Easy, right? Drink it 30 minutes before you ingest anything else to wake up your body and get it ready to burn fat.

Here’s a recipe with three simple ingredients: Juice one lemon, add, ½ tsp turmeric for immunity, and 1 tsp pure maple syrup or raw honey. Boost again at midday if you are sluggish.


Simply move.

Start simply if exercise doesn’t sound like a blood pumping good time. Take a brisk morning walk around the neighborhood before hitting the shower to start your day.

Not an early bird? Make it an after dinner stroll or power walk.

Pick an activity you enjoy like swimming, dancing, kickboxing, cycling, and have fun.

There are plenty of free apps to get you moving in the comfort of your home without a gym, specialized equipment, or an audience. Find your favorite app and block time on your calendar. Moving is as easy as spending less time on social media and using the device in your pocket.

If you work in an office setting, nix the elevator and take the steps, or email less frequently and walk over to a coworker’s desk to ask a question.

Make it a priority. If you work in an office you schedule meetings, and conference calls. Schedule time to take care of you.

Be accountable to a workout buddy, or have someone check in for your progress report on a regular basis.

Eat Healthier

It’s easier to eat healthy when processed foods and added sugars are eliminated.

Stay out of the aisles while grocery shopping. Shop the parameter of the store for real food, and leave the processed food on the shelves.

Read labels. The ingredients highest on the ingredient list have the largest quantities. The FDA says new labels are coming to make it easier to know what is in your food. The new labels will be easier to read and will reflect portions sizes a person consumes in one sitting.

Let the crockpot be your friend on nights filled with meetings and activities. Set the timer so your meal is ready to eat when you walk in the door hungry.

You don’t need another thing to do in the morning, so prepare the meal the night before and store it in the fridge. In the morning place the cold crock in the shell and let it warm up as the shell heats up. Don’t place a cold crock in a hot shell. It’s likely to crack.

Need Help Hacking Meal Prep?

It’s coming courtesy of We Talk Healthy soon. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s possible with a little forethought, meal planning, and a few simple steps. Here are tips from Livestrong in the meantime.

  1. Make it lifestyle. Moving and eating healthier means you are on the right track. Simple changes allow for lifestyle change instead of making it a fad. Cooking at home, and taking lunch to work, instead of eating at restaurants will improve your health. Knowing what is in food and how it is prepared is an education that takes time and commitment.
  2. Be proactive. Use these proactive tips when the holidays come back around later this year.
  3. Don’t go on an empty stomach. If you are going to eat holiday food have a healthy snack before you go.
  4. Limit alcohol intake. Holiday spirits are loaded with calories.
  5. Don’t hang around the buffet table. Keep one hand “busy” by holding a glass of water so it is more difficult to chow down.
  6. Politely decline the invitation.

If you don’t want to repeat your eating habits, save this to your tickler system right now. Use the sharing buttons to send it to a friend who will hold you accountable to eating better this year. And, please share your favorite form of exercise and ways to continue eating healthy. It’s easier if we do this in community.

We do these things for each other in the Facebook community. Be a part of the healthy conversation. And, be well.

Nicole Akers Nicole Akers is a Health Advocate who studies food and general wellness. It’s her mission to help you live a healthier life by learning about the dangers in the food you feed your family. Whether it’s meal prep or creative exercise without setting foot in the gym. You won’t want to miss her tips. Subscribe to the We Talk Healthy blog today.