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How not to gain weight over the holidays

How not to gain weight over the holidays

written by Nina Shantel, blog: RealDietHelp.com, published November 21, 2022

The holidays are notorious for weight gain because of the massive amount of food that is available and eaten. The high fat foods people consume this time of the year is increased, which contributes to weight gain.

Eating before attending a party or gathering may work on some occasions, but usually isn’t practical on Thanksgiving.

Avoiding high calorie sugary desserts is always a good idea, but some people don’t eat sweets and are still overweight.

The seven tips below will not only prevent weight gain but may even help you lose weight and improve your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is highly caloric. Alcohol has more calories per gram than pure fat.  Since alcohol is a poison, the body will stop metabolizing fat into order to metabolize the alcohol because its first priority is not to help you lose unnecessary bodyfat, but to remove toxins.

Drinking calories is a sure-fire way to weight gain. The only calories recommended for drinking is whole fruit smoothies as a meal replacement.

If you still want to have a beverage, choose a non-alcoholic beer or wine as these have a very low alcohol concentrations, and are much lower in calories.

Outlaw all oils. Oils are 100% fat, processed and contain very little nutrition. Not only do excess calories cause weight gain, but fat intake is the primary cause of weight gain. Oils cause endothelial cell damage and lead to clogged arteries and blood vessels, heart disease and high blood pressure. In addition, oil consumption increases insulin resistance, inflammation and suppresses the immune system, so all oils should be avoided.

Choose low-fat proteins because fat is what makes protein-rich foods higher in calories. Proteins lower in fat and higher in carbohydrates contain fewer calories and are more filling.

There is more than enough protein from beans, lentils, peas, and nutritional yeast, all of which are low in fat and excellent sources of protein.

To expedite weight loss, foods promoted as having lots of protein should be minimized or omitted:

  • Dairy, poultry, meat, fish and eggs are high in protein, but it’s best to avoid drinking animal milks and eating animals, which contain excessive amounts of saturated fat. Even “low-fat” versions of animal products contain a lot more calories and fat than most people realize due to the way nutritional labels trick consumers by calculating fat as weight instead of as a percentage of calories.
  • Tofu is high in protein, but keep tofu intake on the small size. Even though tofu is not a high fat food, it is a moderate fat food. You can eat tofu daily, just beware of the portion size, as it’s around four grams of fat for only a three ounce portion. Dr. Cyrus Khambatta, a diabetes expert, recommends consuming no more than 30 grams of fat per day to manage blood sugars.
  • Vegans are usually encouraged to eat nuts and seeds as additional sources of protein, but it’s best to limit or eliminate nuts and seeds if you are overweight. Nuts and seeds are extremely high in fat and detrimental to weight loss. Even though nuts and seeds are in the healthy fats category, they are unnecessary per Dr. McDougall and can lead to weight gain. 

Limit or eliminate bread, pasta and flours. Bread, pasta and flour are processed, high in calories and can be the cause of weight gain even if someone is following a low-fat, plant-based diet.

For instance, tortillas are usually made of flour or corn and are fried. Flour tortillas are high in calories, so swap out the flour tortillas for corn tortillas, or use lettuce cups instead of tortillas.

Try intermittent fasting. There are numerous intermittent fasting options, but the intermittent fasting type I find least difficult is to stop eating after dinner and have my next bite of food at breakfast the following day after I’m beginning to feel hungry. This stops my night snacking; those sneaky calories add up fast.

Food journal. The act of writing down what you eat has been proven to aid in weight loss. I created a journal with my food point system to aid in fast weight loss, while maintaining muscle, which you can order from:

Log foods into an app. I’ve heard people complain that their must be something wrong with them, that they don’t eat that many calories and they gain weight no matter what they eat. To find out if that theory is true, that you don’t eat a lot of calories, log everything you eat into an app which will calculate the calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein for you.

You will need to weigh, measure, and put everything you eat with exact portions. The free online app I find easy to use and is fairly accurate is Cronometer.

While these small tasks are a nuisance, it will give you a truer picture of how many calories you are consuming.

Keep in mind that the 2000 calories per day theme is outdated. If most people ate 2000 calories per day, they would be slimmer than they are now, but they would still be overweight. Most active teenagers could consume 2000 calories per day and be a healthy bodyweight, while women between 25-40 usually need 1600 calories daily. For women over 40, 1200-1400 calories per day would likely be sufficient.

For men, 1800 calories per day is usually a good number. After 60, men may need to drop their calories to 1600 or 1700. These variables depend on age, height, activity, and amount of muscle mass. For instance, two bodybuilders, one who is 36 years old and 6 foot 4, maintains his lean body mass with only 1800 calories daily, while a 30-year-old leaner bodybuilder at 6’0 tall, eats 3000 calories a day.

Start consuming 1800 calories per day, and if you gain or lose weight, that can determine if you should add more calories or lower the number of calories you eat on average, every day. If the diet works, you should see at least a one pound drop on the scale every week.

The ideal percentage of macronutrients should range from 75-80% from whole food carbohydrates, 10-15% from whole-food plant fats, and 10-15% from whole-food plant proteins. All the healthy carbohydrates, fats and proteins can be found in beans, nuts, seeds, grains, lentils, peas, fruit and vegetables.

While maintaining or losing weight during the holidays, when the focus is on food, is more challenging than other times of the year, it is doable.

Weight loss starts with the mind accepting dietary changes, followed by planning, putting those changes into motion, and being consistent.

I was asked to be a guest on another YouTube channel, “Mariquita Solis, Vegan Empowerment Coaching,” to discuss how not to gain weight over the holidays. The above suggestions are listed in the video below along with several others.

The internet connection froze a few times in the video, so prepare to laugh when you see me performing a squat and staying in that awkward position.

Play the YouTube video below to watch it.


If this post is located on any other website other than mine, which is RealDietHelp.com, it’s been unauthorized, plagiarized (copied without my permission). The other social media sites where my articles and videos are approved to be published are on my YouTube channel (Nina’s Nutrition & Exercise Videos), my Fit Girl Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheHighFiveDiet/ and my Twitter account https://twitter.com/medairyfree