22 Essential Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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Many people experience weight gain during the holidays. With the return of colder weather, comfy sweaters and family gatherings it’s easy to pack on a few pounds. Please tell me I’m not alone here.

But you can still enjoy the holidays and avoid holiday weight gain by following these essential tips.

22 Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

1. Eat a protein-rich snack before you go out.

If you arrive at a holiday party famished you’re likely to overeat. Avoid mindless snacking by choosing a healthy snack, such as the one of the following:

  • Greek yogurt and berries
  • a handful of healthy fat-rich nuts, such as almonds, pecans, cashews, or walnuts
  • an apple with peanut butter, or other nut butter
  • a protein shake, like My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • string cheese
  • jerky
  • hummus and veggies

For more healthy snack options, check out Top 20 Best Healthy Snacks.

2. Stay active.

Many families enjoy sitting around and watching parades, Christmas music specials or ballgames during the holidays.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with these traditions, all this inactivity can lead to weight gain. This is especially true if we’re also eating too much rich food (1)

Rather than lounging around all day, consider:

  • taking a family walk, either outside or inside a mall
  • going ice skating
  • building a snowman with your kids
  • going sledding

These activities will burn calories and keep you fit while giving you the opportunity to bond with loved ones.

3. Pay attention to portion sizes

With all the delicious foods prepared during the holidays, it can be tempting to overeat. But, people who eat larger portion sizes tend to gain weight more than those who don’t (2). Makes sense, right?

Read food labels to discern correct portion sizes. Use measuring cups and spoons to measure your food.

4. Get adequate sleep.

Did you know that not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain and a slowed metabolism (3, 4)? When we don’t sleep enough we tend to eat more and exercise less. Our hunger hormone levels increase and this raises calorie intake.

Read 16 Quick Tips To Help You Sleep Better Tonight for helpful sleeping advice.

5. Don’t hang out near the food at a party.

If you linger by the delicious dishes and desserts, the temptation to indulge is greater. But if you step away from the food and focus more on talking to people you’ll save calories, and you just might have more fun.

This tip reminds me of the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind”. The same thought applies to your pantry at home. Throw out the junk food so it’s not there tempting you to eat it.

6. Keep stress under control.

The holidays are stressful sometimes. There are people to see, presents to buy and wrap and recipes to make. But it’s important to keep our stress levels under control.

When we are chronically stressed, our levels of cortisone go up. This can cause us to eat more and gain weight (5).

Focus on activities that reduce stress, such as exercise and deep breathing techniques. And for more about reducing stress read 5 Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Relax.

Also, I found a great app that helps you focus on reducing stress. It’s called Calm.

avoid holiday weight gain
Sharing healthy foods at holiday gatherings is fun!

7.  Prepare a healthy dish to share.

Bringing a healthy dish to holiday gatherings can give you something healthy to eat even if everything else is rich or sugar-laden. This can help you keep your healthy eating goals in check.

It also gives others the opportunity to try a delicious and healthful recipe!

8. Use a smaller plate.

Using large plates often leads us to consume more calories. If not kept in check, this can lead to weight gain (6). Using a small plate helps you control portion sizes and reduce overeating.

9. Avoid processed food.

This includes most foods in packages, boxes or bags. Processed foods are often stripped of nutrients. And most have added unhealthy fats, sugar and preservatives.

10. Keep a food diary.

Write down everything you eat or use an app to help you.

If you’re like me, I often underestimate how much I eat in a day.  Keeping a food diary helps me stay on track with my goals and be more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth.

My favorite tracking app is MyFitnessPal. You may want to try it.

11. Weigh yourself weekly.

Okay, so there are conflicting viewpoints when it comes to weighing yourself. Some people weigh a few times a week. Some never.

It’s good to keep in mind that weight fluctuations are normal day-to-day. But, many people find it helps them stay accountable and makes them more aware of their progress if they weigh weekly (7).

12. Watch your beverage and alcohol intake.

Soda, juice, alcohol and other beverages are full of empty calories and sugar. These factors contribute to weight gain (8).

The best thing to drink? You guessed it….water! (See number 16.)

13. Take smaller bites and chew your food thoroughly.

Eliminate distractions, such as electronics, and eat mindfully, savoring each delicious bite (9).

14. Keep a consistent workout routine.

Stick to your regular fitness routine as much as possible. Consistent training produces better results. Are you lacking motivation? Reading 3 Ways To Get Motivated And Stay Motivated To Work Out can help.

And that leads me to tip, #15.

15. Stay positive even if you get off track.

Don’t beat yourself up or stress about it. Simply restart your commitment a healthy life and get back on track. Simply focus on your health and fitness goals and keep moving forward with your plan.

It might help to use Motivational Quotes And Power Phrases.

avoid holiday weight gain
Lemon water is refreshing and healthy.

16. Drink a glass of water before meals and snacks.

Sometimes we think we’re hungry when our body simply needs water. Drinking water fills us up and helps prevent overeating (10).

Read 9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon Water to learn more.

17. Leave a few bites of food on your plate.

Are you a member of the “clean plate club”? It’s okay to admit it, I used to think I had to clean my plate too.

Try leaving a few bites of food on your plate. You probably won’t even miss them and the calories you’ve saved add up and can help prevent weight gain.

18. Eat loads of veggies.

Filling up with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits can help prevent obesity (11). They’re filled with vital nutrients and vitamins as well as healthy fiber.

19. Lift weights.

Building muscle is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism and burn more calories.

A great way to build muscle is by doing a kettlebell workout. You can check out 20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout to learn more.

20. Fill up on fiber.

Eating more fiber fills you up faster which can prevent you from eating as much and gaining weight (12).

Fiber-rich foods include:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • legumes
  • whole grains.

21. Buddy up.

Find a friend who has similar health goals and give each other accountability. Having someone to work out or swap health recipes with can help you stay on track.

22. Avoid sugar and simple carbs.

Eating too much sugar is a common cause of weight gain and obesity (13).

When you come face to face with the desserts this holiday season, focus on selecting only your favorites and leaving the rest. This will save you from sugar overload and help keep your blood sugar in a manageable range.

For more on the dangers of sugar check out 20 Reasons Why Refined Sugar Is Bad For Your Health.

avoid holiday weight gain
22 Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain (INFOGRAPHIC)

What are ways you try to stay healthy during the holidays?

Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!


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How To Break Through Your Weight Loss Wall

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If there’s one thing that just about everyone has to deal with when they’re trying to lose any weight at all it is that, at some point or another, you’re likely going to hit the wall. This could take any number of forms. You could find that your progress slows for some reason, or it could simply be that you lose a lot of the motivation and momentum that kept you going at the beginning.

That being said, the wall is not impenetrable. There are almost always ways in which you can break through it. Which ones work for you will depend on a lot of different factors, but here are three simple options that you might want to try.

How To Break Through Your Weight Loss Wall

1. Detox

Detoxing is one of the best ways to get through that initial barrier when you first start trying to lose some weight. A lot of the weight that you’re carrying tends to include water weight, and detox teas can be incredibly useful for helping you drop that weight while also getting rid of toxins in your system.

There are plenty of different detox teas on the market, but this Fit Tea review might give you a good sense of how effective they can be. If you recognize the brand, you may recognize it from a celebrity page on Instagram .

2. Focus on density

There are few things more frustrating than feeling like you’re constantly going hungry and you’re still not seeing any real results. This is one of the most common reasons why a lot of people end up giving up on losing weight entirely.

However, this often comes down to one major error. You can’t just cut your portion sizes and expect the weight to fall off of you.

The reality is that foods like fresh fruit and vegetables contain a lot more water, which means that you can eat a lot more of them and become full while consuming far fewer calories than if you were eating highly processed foods, or foods high in salt or sugar.

3. Get help from a friend

Sometimes the diet wall doesn’t appear all at once but rather sneaks up on you. You start out by taking a day off, then over time, you take more and more. And eventually you’ve given up entirely. By having someone else around who can give you support, they can help stop you from falling into those kinds of bad habits and keep you honest. It’s easy to convince yourself not to bother; it’s much harder to justify it to someone else.

Of course, it’s important to remember that just because you’ve broken through the wall doesn’t mean that you aren’t necessarily going to come up against another one. Losing weight is a long and often difficult process, and you need to be willing to put in the right amount of work to get the results that you really want. But if you can stick to it and not let any obstacles get in your way, it’s going to be worth it the end. You are worth it!


What tips can you add to this list? 

Share your thoughts below. I love to hear your perspective!


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How Intermittent Fasting Cured My Hypoglycemia

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A couple of years ago I started having frequent blood sugar issues. I would eat a meal or snack, then less than two hours later, break out in a cold sweat, feeling weak, dizzy, nauseated and like I was going to pass out. Maybe you can relate? There were many times I was on the verge of fainting with my head between my knees, or lying down on the couch while my husband fed me a banana with peanut butter trying to get my sugars back up.

These “episodes” started coming more often and more intensely. And, with all the other health problems I was encountering with the Lyme disease, I knew I should get it checked out.

Reactive Hypoglycemia And A Wake-Up Call

My doctor ordered me a fasting 3-hour glucose tolerance test. If you’ve ever been through this you know the experience takes half a day. You have to drink a cold, syrupy (and nauseating) liquid, then wait at the doctor’s office, having your blood drawn multiple times, at 1-hour intervals to check your glucose levels. I remember feeling okay after the first blood draw, and feeling sleepy and sick after the second.

Then, after the third blood draw I was so ready to get out of there and go home because I felt extremely weak and nauseated. The office was only a 10-minute drive from my house so I didn’t think much of it. But as they say, “hindsight is 20/20.”

intermittent fasting cured my hypoglycemia

I got in my car and drove about a half mile from the doctor’s office when I went around a sharp curve, feeling myself fade in and out of consciousness, nearly passing out, driving off the road and almost into a ditch.

It was scary. If I’d known how out of it I truly was I never would have attempted to drive myself home. I was thankful I was safe and that I didn’t cause an accident. Although it certainly wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made, it was definitely a wake-up call.

As expected, my doctor called a few days later and said my test results showed that I had reactive hypoglycemia. She asked me how I’d felt after the last blood draw and I confessed my near-accident. Then she mentioned she didn’t know how I drove home because my glucose levels were so low. She referred me to a special diet for people with hypoglycemia and I started following it right away.

How Intermittent Fasting Cured My Hypoglycemia

I immediately started researching natural cures for hypoglycemia on my own and found information about intermittent fasting and how it reduces insulin resistance and can prevent Type 2 diabetes. After talking to my doctor I started the 16:8 IF and within a couple of weeks noticed drastic improvements.

The cold sweats, weakness, constant hunger and cravings for sweets and carbs dissipated, and has continued to improve over time. I used to have horrible brain fog due to the neurological impact of Lyme, but IF has helped with that too. Also, I tend to get easily distracted, but during my fasting periods I’m more focused and better able to concentrate than before. I wish I’d known about IF years ago because it has helped me health-wise in countless ways and simplified my life.

What Is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

Fasting isn’t a new concept. It’s been around for years. The cavemen and cavewomen did it back in the paleolithic era. In fact, our bodies were designed to live through periods of feast and famine. It was a necessity.

Intermittent fasting, or IF, is a timing concept. It is not about what you eat. But it is about when you eat or when you don’t eat.

Most of us have probably been told we should never skip breakfast….that it is the most important meal of the day. Likewise, we have no doubt heard that we should eat frequent meals and snacks to avoid hunger and boost weight loss. However, it doesn’t matter how many “experts” repeat this information because the research does not support it. And this is probably also why when I followed their advice I was constantly hungry, had food cravings and developed hypoglycemia.

IF has some impressive benefits that extend beyond reduced cravings and hunger (after your body adjusts) and weight loss.

Proven Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

  • Increased longevity (1)
  • Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation (2)
  • May prevent cancer (3)
  • Lowers risk of type 2 diabetes (4)
  • Regulates hormones (5)
  • Repairs cells (autophagy) (6)
  • Weight loss and loss of belly fat (7)

For the basics on how to get started with IM-ing please check out:


Do you have hypoglycemia? Have you tried intermittent fasting? 

Share your thoughts below – I love hearing from you!


The information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem. Please talk to your doctor about IM to learn if it might be a good option for you.

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36 Key Benefits Of Almond Oil For Skin, Hair & Health

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You’re probably aware of the healthful benefits (and deliciousness) of almonds. But have you ever tried using sweet almond oil? It’s an amazing oil with impressive benefits for your overall health, hair, skin and nails.

Almond Oil Facts

The scientific name for almond oil is Prunus dulcis. It is extracted from raw almonds, which are native to Asia and the Middle East. In the United States, many varieties of sweet almonds are grown in California.

Sweet almond oil is rich in zinc, vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, folic acid, copper, potassium, and a variety of other minerals. And it has an amazing nutty scent to boot!

There are two types of almond oil:

  1. Sweet almond oil
  2. Bitter almond oil

Sweet almond oil is safe to use in cooking, on hair and skin. But, bitter almond oil, derived from bitter almonds, is toxic in small amounts because it contains cyanide.

So, let’s break it down…

Sweet almond oil: Good!

Bitter almond oil: Bad!

36 Amazing Benefits Of Almond Oil

Benefits Of Almond Oil For Skin

  • Reduces dark circles under the eyes when applied over time
  • The vitamin E in almond oil helps prevent and reverse signs of aging, including crows feet and wrinkles
  • Gives your skin a healthy glow
  • A gentle makeup remover
  • Great for treating chapped lips
  • Is a rich emollient, moisturizer – especially great for the body, hands, elbows, feet, etc. Some people may find it a bit too oily for the face.
  • Helps treat eczema and psoriasis
  • Is a natural sunscreen, SPF 5
  • Improves skin tone
  • Can be used as a skin cleanser
  • Due to its antibacterial qualities, and because it is rich in vitamin A, it makes a good acne treatment
  • Helps fade scars
  • It’s safe to use as a moisturizer on baby’s skin, as well as on rashes

Benefits Of Almond Oil For Hair

  • Helps prevent split ends when applied
  • Massaging the oil into your scalp is a good dandruff treatment because is releases dead cells
  • The vitamin E and essential fatty acids make it an excellent shine enhancer. Just apply a small amount at a time, starting at the ends of your hair.
  • Improves the overall health and condition of your hair
  • Protects hair from sun damage with an SPF 5
  • Prevents hair loss when massaged into the scalp due to high levels of zinc. Just gently massage it into the scalp and leave it on for a few hours before washing out.

benefits of almond oil

General Health Benefits Of Almond Oil

  • Antioxidant-rich
  • The linoleic and linolenic acids in almond oil can help decrease inflammation
  • Fights free radicals
  • Protects against colon cancer
  • Helps prevent diabetes
  • May lower your risk for heart disease
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Aids digestion and treats constipation
  • A natural ear infection and pain treatment. Put a couple drops of sweet almond oil in a tablespoon of warm filtered water. Drop this into the ear and let it travel into the ear canal and work its magic!
  • The monounsaturated fats in almond oil speed up metabolism, which can help you lose weight
  • Improves energy due to essential minerals and vitamins
  • Strengthens nails
  • Good for expectant mothers and babies because it is rich in folic acid, which reduces the risk of birth defects.
  • Has analgesic properties. Massage into sore muscles to help relieve pain.
  • Boosts memory and neurological function
  • It’s a great carrier oil for essential oils

Cooking With Almond Oil

When selecting a quality almond oil for cooking, make sure you choose a high-quality, pure organic sweet almond oil. You can add it to protein shakes, drink 2 to 4 tablespoons straight up, drizzle it on roasted veggies, or cook with it like any other oil. The smoke point is 430 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is currently our favorite sweet almond oil, pure, organic and affordable.

Cautions About Almond Oil

Overall, sweet almond oil is safe, but it’s important to note some precautions here. First, if you have a nut allergy you should not consume or use almond oil. Also, you may want to avoid consuming alcohol and almond oil at the same time, as a Texas Tech study showed adverse interactions.

As noted above, bitter almond oil is toxic and shouldn’t be used. Finally, remember to talk to your doctor if you’re taking medications, such as diabetes or cholesterol medicines, as these could potentially interact with almond oil.


Have you ever used almond oil? What benefits have you noticed?

Share your thoughts below – I love hearing from you!


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