The best option, obviously, is if you don’t put on any holiday weight, but that can be hard if you have a lot of holiday parties or events to go to. The other thing that can be frustrating is that I used to find that if I put on five pounds from Christmas to New Year’s Eve, then sometimes it would take three months or more to lose the weight I put on in just seven days. If that happens to you too, it can be frustrating.
Why Is It So Hard to Lose Holiday Weight?
The reason that happens is that the longer you’re at that new weight after the holidays the more likely it is that your body will reset its baseline to that new weight. For example, if you were 130 pounds before the holidays and 135 pounds after the holidays, the longer you’re at 135 pounds, the more likely it is that your body will make that it’s new baseline weight. It’s person to person dependent how long that takes.
Once your body does that, then your body will want to keep you at that new baseline weight and then the holiday weight will become much harder to lose. So ideally you should lose the holiday weight you put on from Christmas to New Year’s Eve in January, that’s the easiest time to lose it because your body hasn’t reset its baseline weight to be that new weight yet.
What Can You Do?
The two ways I recommend that you lose holiday weight is calorie restriction or intermittent fasting, although I don’t usually recommend these options long term. They can both be good options for short-term weight loss for the weight you’ve just put on during the holidays or a vacation. If fasting or calorie restriction makes you feel dizzy or weak, or if you have other medical problems, then you shouldn’t try it, it’s not for everyone.
The reason I don’t recommend these options long term is that once your body gets used to the lesser calories or fasting usually your weight loss will plateau. You can only calorie restrict or fast to a certain point before you’re basically starving yourself and that’s not healthy for you. The other problem is that when you’re not eating enough food, you may not get enough nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will help prevent other long-term diseases like cancer.
How to Try Post-Holiday Intermittent Fasting
The first option is post-holiday intermittent fasting. I recommend you do it from January 1st to January 14th, fast for one meal a day, so you eat two meals a day. Personally, I don’t like fasting, I always look forward to eating all day. But if you’re able to fast, a lot of people find it easiest to fast for breakfast because they’re busy at work or running late in the morning. Fast for whichever meal you think you will miss the least during the day.
Fast for one meal a day, and don’t have any cheat meals for the two weeks you’re fasting. Normally I recommend three cheat meals per week, but you probably had a lot of extra cheat meals during the holidays, so no cheat meals from January 1st to 14th to offset the extra food you ate during the holidays.
How To Try Post-Holiday Calorie Restriction
The second option is post-holiday calorie restriction. You don’t need a calorie counter, you can guesstimate it, it doesn’t have to be exact. This is what I’ve done in the past when I put on holiday weight. You should do it from January 1st to 14th, no cheat meals during those two weeks. You may have to start planning now, so you don’t have a lot of brunches, dinners, etc. to go to from January 1st to 14th to make it easier to not have cheat meals.
You should have 25% less food per meal than you normally would. These are the usual healthy meals that you’re eating. For example, if you normally eat two eggs for breakfast, then you’d have one and a half eggs. If you normally have a salad for lunch then you’d have 75% of the salad. You may end up throwing away some food, but you’re not doing this long term. You’re just doing it for two weeks, and if you’re able to get back to your pre-holiday weight, then it’s going to be worth it.
Short-Term Weight Loss
Assuming you did your extra holiday eating from Christmas to New Year’s Eve, then this two-week plan should work to help you lose the weight you put on during that one week. Even if it works, I don’t recommend you continue to this long term. Again, it’s not the healthiest option long term because you may not be eating enough food to get all the benefits of a well-balanced diet, and also your weight loss will eventually plateau. It’s a good option for short-term weight loss to lose weight you’ve recently put on.
If you do try it, let me know how it works out, I’d love to hear about it!
P.S. Here’s my recent review of the Apple Watch ECG.