The average American gains 1-3 lbs per year. This is why so many of us were at a healthy weight when we graduated high school and thirty pounds over weight at 30. But that weight gain isn’t even over the entire year, on average 80% of that weight gain happens in the last 2 months of the year which makes total sense. When do you eat more crappy food than in the time between Halloween and New Years?
The nice part of having this information is if we can have a plan of attack in November and December where we either lose weight or at the very least don’t gain weight, we can have a successful year of weight loss and don’t have to try to undo a bunch of weight gain in January. (And we all know that never really works anyway.)
So let’s look at some simple strategies we can use to jumpstart weight loss and make it to the end of the year with our weight loss goals intact.
Throw Away the Halloween Candy
I am writing this on the day after Halloween and we have a bowl of candy sitting on the counter that is absolutely screaming my name. I have ignored it so far but I’m not sure how long I can stay strong. My wife says we are keeping it to give to the grandkids when they come over but Twix and Kit Kats might as well be catnip and Kryptonite to me. Do yourself a favor and throw it away. Just get it as far away from you as possible. Open the packages and put them down the garbage disposal if you have to but get rid of the temptation.
Start Tracking Your Food/Macros
If you aren’t doing it already, consider downloading an app like Lose It or My Fitness Pal and start tracking your food. Navigating these last few months of the year will be tricky but sometimes just having that one little point of friction between seeing food and putting food in your mouth is exactly what you need to be able to think about what you are eating and how it will affect your health and your weight. I remember reading years ago in The 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss that just taking a picture of your food before eating it was enough to help people eat less and lose weight. I was skeptical when I read that but now I see the wisdom in it, it just makes you stop and think before you eat.
Start Planning (or Prepping) Your Meals
They say that failing to plan means planning to fail and this holds true for your meals as well. You should never be 10 minutes away from needing to eat and not have a clue about what you will be eating. Sitting down before the week starts and writing out a plan for what you will eat or what you will cook for your family will make your life a lot easier. If you actually cook all your food in advance and put in tupperware containers so you just have to heat it up before each meal, your life gets even easier. Concentrating all the work of food prep into one afternoon frees up so much time during the week and makes staying true to your dietary convictions so much simpler.
Make Low Carb Versions of Your Favorite Holiday Meals
I remember the first Thanksgiving where Dian and I were low carb and trying to figure out how in the world we were going to navigate these tricky waters. We Googled recipes and either imitated or innovated our way through a relatively successful holiday with the kids. Turns out if you do it right, most traditional recipes can be made low carb, or at the very least lower carb. My favorite was all the work that went into my Pumpkin Pie and Cheese Cake recipes that can both be found in my dessert recipes ebook. It was a lot of trial and error but over the years, we have perfected a lot of different recipes that have become family favorites.
Get a Support Group
I am a firm believer in the idea that the most important things in our life happen in community. Having a group of people that will give you encouragement and support is absolutely crucial. Ideally, this would be your friends and family but if you can’t have that, try joining our FaceBook group. It is full of people from all walks of life changing their health and dropping weight with a Ketogenic diet. We would love to see you there!
It is so easy to justify a little cheat every now and again, after all Christmas (or Thanksgiving, or Halloween, or the Holiday Office Party, etc) only comes once a year. But it is so easy to have those cheats stack up and undo weeks of weight loss in a night. (Trust me, I’m speaking from experience here.) Just stay the course and reap the benefits.
What about you? Do you have any tips for making it through the Holidays? Let me know in the comments below!