How To Not Worry About Holiday Weight Gain So You Can Enjoy Yourself

Can we say that the holiday season has officially begun? Yaaay! Even though I did not grow up celebrating Christmas I feel like this time brings about feelings of coziness, warmth, celebration, generosity and connection and it is most definitely not all about gaining weight or overindulging. I grew up in a Jewish community in Brooklyn and went to school 30 minutes outside of our neighborhood. Every year during Christmas time, there was this house that we would pass by on the school bus that had the most incredible decorations that I’ve ever seen. The ornaments were so intricate, they had this clear box where there was a whole display of moving Santas and snowflakes and I would secretly will the bus driver to go a tiny bit slower because I was mesmerized by the lights! Also it was different from celebrating Chanukah where we just had a menorah in our house. In the 90’s there were no blue and white Chanukah lights or outside decorations it was mostly just something we celebrated indoors. Now there is more decorations available and I LOVE it. 

Anyways getting back to topic, I know that these next five weeks are weeks of all around indulgence. A lot of money is spent on gifts, some that you want to buy and some that you don’t, but feel obligated to. And there may be an internal pressure of what you did or did not accomplish this year, hellooo inner critic. There are also parties galore with endless amounts of food and sugar and basically all the most tastiest things that you love to eat but are constantly reminded that you are not supposed to eat because you’re going to sabotage your weight loss goals. 

So, I am sharing my best tips for eating in social situations to help you understand how to enjoy this season without worrying about the infamous ‘holiday weight gain’.

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Never go to a party hungry.

Have you heard this as a weight loss tip? Don’t eat the whole day in hopes that your calorie allowance will even out because of the rich foods that are usually served in a social setting. I’ve seen clients (and myself) do this, and it’s an easy mistake to fix! Why? Because by the time you get to the party you are so freaking hungry, your blood sugar is low and you’re more likely to overeat because you need a quick zap of energy. Instead, make sure you’re eating+snacking regularly throughout the day. 

Before you enter any social situation check in with yourself and know that it is essential to do this when there is food or alcohol around.

There is so much stimulation and excitement during the holidays which makes it easy to forget about yourself. Oftentimes we walk in to a social setting and there are people there, that you may not normally want to connect with in your day to day life. If you’ve struggled with food you’re sensitive which means you can easily absorb emotions of the people around you. 

You don’t want to do this when there is food around because it’s a sure way to eat your feelings. IF you want to eat in a way that feels good to you, you have to remember where you are at (emotionally) and who you are with and how they make you feel! Go outside or step away for a moment and check in. Ask yourself this: Am I anxious? Am I happy? Just name an emotion and acknowledge that this is what you’re feeling. It is important to understand that your emotions (whatever they are) are valid and real!

Allow yourself to indulge!

Do not go in to a party on a diet or in a restrictive mindset. This is not the right time for that. Or ever, really:) Intuitive eating works wonders for any food situation you’ll encounter. When people are restrictive, they are more likely to hold out during the party and then totally overdo it at the end or come home and binge eat because who wants to be restricted and deprived?? NO ONE!!! That’s a sure way to make yourself feel left out and disconnected because food is one way in which we CONNECT! Instead, plan to try things that look and feel indulgent. Show up and be present with taste, texture and color. When you do this you are more likely eat things that you love and stay away from things that you don’t like. Once you have a  few treats MOVE ON. Pay attention to when you’ve had enough and realize that you can always have more tomorrow.



Don’t make it all about food.

Holiday’s are about connection, community and celebration. Go find people that you vibe with, go talk to them and immerse yourself in a beautiful conversation. If you get pulled in to a toxic conversation (such as diet talk or drama) remove yourself because this will not feel good in your body and we want you to leave this party feeling bomb.

Leave, when YOUR party is over.

*YOU CAN excuse yourself from the table! If you know you are full, but you can’t seem to get the food out of your head, get up and move to another area. Take space. Sometimes that’s all it takes. 

*Do you feel tired? Done with socializing? Ate enough? Then leave. When the party is over, it’s over!!! By doing this you are creating boundaries with yourself and others. When we try to push our bodies needs aside, we can often continue to drink and eat because our energy is low. To avoid this, you just have to listen and honor your internal cues.



Soshy Adelstein