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5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain and Stay Fit This Festive Season (survival guide)

Holiday decorating, gift wrapping, debaucherous meals and special traditions ... year-end routine disruptors can make skipped workouts, over-eating, and weight gain feel inevitable.

Good news: They don't have to be.

That's why I put together this holiday survival guide.

It's packed with the tips and tricks that I use with my nutrition coaching clients to prioritize health, fitness, and nutrition no matter what life - including the holidays - throw at us.

Life can be calm and collected.

Or it can be frenetic and stressful (oh hey, 2020).

The holiday season almost always offers a dose of the latter.

Boxes of decorations to put up, bits of craft projects stuck to every surface, groceries to be put away, meals to be cooked and eaten, towels to be washed, and some really excited kids to be bathed and tucked in for sleep.

It’s really fun and it challenges our preferred eating and exercise schedules.

Yet, over the years, we’ve gotten really good at eating and exercising how we want, even during the holidays.

I’ve passed these strategies along to my NUTRITION COACHING CLIENTS​ to help them get the most health and fitness — along with fun and joy — out of their own holiday seasons.

And, today, I get to share this “Holiday Survival Guide” with you.

At Precision Nutrition we often say that your food and fitness strategies should be designed for your most hectic days — not just the easy, or perfect, ones.

Holiday Survival Tool #1: Eat slowly and to "satisfied" instead of "stuffed."

The most effective (and sanity-preserving) tool for holiday eating may also be the simplest one: Eat slowly. (And stop at “satisfied”, instead of “stuffed”).

This strategy helps you avoid overeating for two main reasons:

  • Physiological It takes 15-20 min for your digestive system to let your brain know that you’re satisfied. Slowing down a meal allows that to happen before you overeat.

  • Psychological When you slow down, “sense into”, and savor your food, you feel content with much less. This means you’ll eat less but enjoy what you’ve eaten more.

Indeed, when eating slowly (and stopping at “satisfied” instead of “stuffed”) you can try all the delicious foods on Grandma’s buffet without guilt or needing to “work it off later”.

Holiday Survival Tool #2: How to stay in shape when you're busy.

It’s one of the most common patterns I see among my incoming nutrition coaching clients: Folks who want to get (and/or stay) fit will exercise diligently for months, only to get derailed by the holidays and “fall off the wagon” for the entire year.

That’s why we came up with this simple workout, which you can do no matter where the holidays take you.

This plan takes only a few minutes a day, it requires minimal or no equipment, and it focuses on compound exercise (big muscles, big movements) which makes it very effective when you want a good movement session but have limited time.

Holiday Survival Tool #3: Eating well on the go.

The end of the year has most people bouncing around among errands, tasks, and special traditions more than usual.

When you’re on the go, it can feel like navigating a nutritional minefield: Hunger signals overpowering, junk food everywhere, little time to sit down and eat your veggies.

Challenging, of course, but not impossible. With smart strategies you can eat well on the go no matter where life takes you.

​Holiday Survival Guide #4: How (and why) to make the perfect super shake.

What’s a Super Shake? It’s a nutrient-packed, delicious, liquid meal that you can whip up and drink while you help a 4-year-old glue googly eyes on felt reindeers.

You see, letting yourself get too hungry is one of the best ways to end up over-drinking and overeating. And during the holidays, you don’t always have the time to prep a nice, balanced plate of protein, veggies, fruit, and healthy fats.

Since Super Shakes include all four, they’re satisfying + nourishing. And they’re really easy to make.

For quick, healthy, filling, multitasking-friendly liquid meals, check out How (and why) to make the perfect Super Shake [Infographic].

Holiday Survival Tool #5:The best calorie control guide.

Want to get through the holidays without losing strength?

Without gaining extra weight and body fat?

That’s all possible.

Sure, it’ll feel difficult with all that calorie-dense food in front of you. But your health can survive another year of Mom’s mostly-butter mashed potatoes and Aunt Marie’s pumpkin bourbon cheesecake if you just eat slowly and pay attention to portions.

No, no… not calorie counting. That’s often annoying, impractical, and inaccurate, especially at Christmas dinner. So try this “hand measure” system instead.

Break the shackles of endless dieting!




Work with a personal nutrition coach and lose weight for good with 6 Fitness Nutrition coaching programs.

Holiday Survival Tool #6: 3 steps for prepping (and loving) your veggies.

Another effective strategy to avoid gaining weight and body fat during the holidays?

Eat lots and lots of veggies. They’re water-dense, calorie-sparse, and full of the nutrients you need to keep your energy and mood up for holiday party #17.

The only problem?

Many folks don’t love the taste of veggies, especially compared to ultra-palatable holiday food.

So, here is a simple 3-step formula for prepping healthy veggies in a way that’s delicious enough for a banquet table.

Trust me, these have converted even the most hardcore veggie-phobes.

Eating right, along with challenging exercise, is the formula for a toned, lean body. Guarantee your results by teaming up with me.

Together we will come up with a fitness plan that is uniquely yours, one that fits your lifestyle and helps you achieve your goals.

Call or email today to get started.

Here’s How to Avoid Overeating at the Party…

Don’t load up on appetizers and then sit down to a full meal. A plate of appetizers has the calories of a meal!

Look over all of your food options before beginning to eat. Choose a few of your favorites and then fill the rest of your plate with veggies and greens.

Be careful with liquid! Stick with only one calorie-filled drink and then switch to water.

Eat a sensible meal before you arrive at the party. This will cut down on party food calories.

Pass the Teriyaki Meatballs!

If you are a lover of teriyaki then these subtly sweet meatballs are right up your alley! These make a wonderful appetizer for your holiday party.

Feel free to use liquid stevia rather than the honey if you are looking for an extremely low-sugar dish. However, for most of us, this small amount of healthful, raw honey is perfectly A-OK and beneficial.

Serve these tasty meatballs up as an appetizer or serve over arugula or spaghetti squash for a small, fitness-minded meal. Enjoy!

Servings: 5

What you need:

1 tablespoon garlic, minced 2 tablespoons ginger, minced ¼ cup scallions, minced, plus more for garnish 1 pound ground beef 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 3 tablespoons coconut aminos 1 tablespoon raw honey 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar ½ teaspoon arrowroot starch 3 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


1. Combine the garlic, ginger and scallions in a food processor. Pulse until well combined and finely minced.

2. Transfer the garlic mixture to a large bowl and add the ground beef and sea salt. Use your hands to mix until well combined. Form the mixture into 20 meatballs, about an inch in diameter.

3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the sesame oil. Add the meatballs and cook, shaking often, until browned on all sides and cooked through. Remove the meatballs and set aside on a plate.

4. Add the coconut aminos, honey and vinegar to the skillet. In a small bowl whisk the arrowroot starch and water together until fully dissolved. Add to the skillet, mix and simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Return the meatballs to the skillet and cover in the sauce.

Serve immediately, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Nutrition Four Meatballs equals:

189 calories

7g fat

372mg sodium

6g carbohydrate

3g fiber

2g sugar

23g protein.

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