Surviving Pumpkin Spice & Naughty and Nice Season

Five tips to survive the holiday weight gain do to stress.


Val Salinas

11/2/20232 min read

white ceramic mug beside gift boxes
white ceramic mug beside gift boxes

Halloween is past, and Thanksgiving is around the corner, which means the holiday season is quickly approaching, and you know that means the overload of food, food, and more food.

With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year occurring within 12 weeks, many of us will overindulge in Halloween candy, holiday cookies, bread, eggnog, and other 'goodies.'

We all have experienced holiday weight gain some time in our lifetime, and for those of you who have never experienced holiday weight gain, you are more disciplined than me, and I applaud you.

I love the holidays because the spectacular storefront decoration displays, listening to holiday music, attending parties, and shopping for others always bring me joy. And of course the food, especially the cookies.

I will enjoy the rich food that comes with the holiday season, but with moderation and physical activity. I am human, after all.

Here are Five Tips to help prevent weight gain that has worked for many of my private clients.

Keep A Positive Attitude & Roll With The Punches

The holiday season can be stressful and bring out the Grinch in all of us. With the long lines, traffic, entertaining family, traveling, last-minute gift shopping, and managing on-time gift deliveries will test our patience.

In stressful moments, take a deep breath, count to 10, and take 10 minutes to decompress and recharge.

The holidays come once a year, and sometimes unexpected events can occur. Spending quality time with friends and family and building long-lasting memories is priceless.

Reduce Distress & Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep and reducing distress can help prevent weight gain during the holidays.

Did you know that recent data has revealed that people who are sleep-deprived tend to consume more empty calories than people who sleep at least 6-8 hours?

Also, when sleep-deprived and elevated stress levels, a steroid hormone called cortisol floods the release of excessive cortisol in the body.

Excessive cortisol will wreak havoc on our metabolism and increase fat deposits in the abdominal region. Thus, getting enough sleep is vital for your body to repair itself.

Bolster Physical Activities

Maintaining a workout schedule of 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity will drastically reduce stress levels because your body releases endorphins and serotonin are released in the body, which can dramatically improve your mood.

If you are too busy, set a timer for 10-20 minutes and do bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, dips, squats, jumping jacks, lunges, and burpees.

Take advantage of the cooler weather by biking, walking, or running outdoors for cardio conditioning.

As I always say, maintaining consistency and doing something is always better than nothing. Keeping our body in motion does the body and mind good.

Never Skip A Meal Before A Holiday Party

Never go to a holiday party on an empty stomach because you are more likely to eat twice as many calories.

To avoid overindulging, eat a high-water-content healthy meal like a mixed green salad with protein or a bowl of your favorite soup, and drink plenty of water and reach for vegetable and protein plates.

Drink Alcohol In Moderation

Please never Drink and Drive. Alcoholic drinks are wasted calories, plain and simple.

An average alcoholic drink contains 150 - 200 calories per glass. Indulging in 2-3 drinks at a party is the equivalent of an entire meal (300-600 calories).

If you are going to enjoy a cocktail, have an 8oz glass of water for every drink you consume to prevent dehydration and fatigue.

Have a fit and healthy holiday season.