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5 Ways To Enjoy The Holidays & Avoid Holiday Weight Gain & Fatigue

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Do you have a tough time getting through the holiday season without gaining a few extra pounds and feeling completely exhausted by the time it's all done?

If you find yourself feeling tired and bloated after indulging in holiday dinners, and the endless amounts of sweets that are around then keep reading.

As a nutritionist, I use these simple strategies to make it through the holiday season without the stress of figuring out what to eat so that I can maintain my energy and avoid bloating and the dreaded holiday weight gain.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead

Make sure to plan ahead before you attend a dinner or party.

Find out what will be served:

If you are dealing with food intolerances or digestive issues, ask the host what kinds of foods and drinks will be served so you’ll know ahead of time how to prepare.

Bring a dish to your holiday dinner:

Bring a healthier plate to share with the other guests, so that you don't find yourself worrying about how you’ll feel after you eat.

Don’t show up hungry:

Eat well-balanced meals that include protein, fibre, and healthy fats, throughout the day before you go to a dinner or party. If you show up starving you’ll be more likely to overindulge.

Protein will help you feel satiated and support stable blood sugar so you don't find yourself craving all the sweets.

Try one of the following protein-rich mini-meals before you go:

1. Turkey slices with avocado

2. Greek yogurt with nuts

3. A smoothie that includes protein, fibre, and some healthy fats

4. Hummus & veggies

5. Apple slices with either nut butter or cheese slices

Tip #2: Hydrate

If you’re feeling super hungry at an event, or are grazing your way through the evening, focus on drinking water before you go for that next plate of food. Sometimes that hunger is actually a sign of thirst.

If you are toasting the holiday with a glass of bubbly or red wine? Make sure to drink a glass of water before and after each drink.

Another option is to make this simple vitamin water, and drink it both before you head out and the morning after.

Vitamin Water Recipe:

8 ounces coconut water

1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger

juice from 1/2 lemon

Stir or shake the ingredients to combine, and sip. The raw apple cider vinegar will enhance your digestive enzymes and balance PH, while the coconut water will mineralize your body.

Tip #3 - Follow The 80/20 Rule

Focus on eating healthy, nourishing foods 80% of the time. Fill your plate with veggies and protein to help keep you feeling full and support your energy levels. This gives you some leeway to indulge the other 20% of the time without feeling guilty or leading to bloating and fatigue because you've overconsumed sugar and processed foods.

The key to staying healthy and feeling good (both physically and mentally) during the holidays is to find the right balance. There’s no way you're going to make it through an entire month of parties and holiday treats saying NO every single time. Nor would you want to.

Tip #4 - Pace Yourself

If you decide to have a slice of pie, chocolates, stuffing, or whatever other holiday treats you love to indulge in this time of year, focus on savouring the food. The key to creating sustainable habits is adopting practices in a way that doesn't require us to overthink things constantly or restrict the foods we love.

Moderation and paying attention to portion sizes will go a long way to keeping you feeling healthy and good. If you need a little inspiration for how to nourish yourself well in between all the parties and gatherings grab this 3-day meal plan filled with plenty of delicious well-balanced meals.

Tip #5 - De-Bloat & Reset

Sometimes, regardless of your best intentions, you can still end up feeling bloated and tired once the holidays are over.

It’s important to have some strategies to get rid of those symptoms and get you back on track to feeling great. You're going to want to focus on flushing toxins out of your body and getting plenty of rest.

Here are my 3 favourite ways to de-bloat and reset the day after.


Take 2 cups of room temperature water, and add the juice from 1/2 a lemon, a pinch of cayenne (optional), and 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Mix well, and sip slowly.


Add 1 tablespoon of chlorophyll to 12 ounces of water with the juice of one lemon and drink. Chlorophyll is a nutrient-dense supplement that will help support your body in neutralizing toxins.


Exercise is one of the best ways to cleanse your body and remove toxins. Try taking a brisk walk, hitting the gym, or going to your favourite spin class. Sweating helps the body to eliminate toxins through the skin.


Get back to your regular sleep routine and aim for 8 hours of sleep per night, Lack of sleep can really impact your hormones, specifically your hunger hormones, ghrelin, and leptin. Ghrelin stimulates hunger, while leptin suppresses hunger by letting you know when you are full. When you are sleep-deprived leptin levels decrease and ghrelin levels increase. The end result is you feel more hungry.

Cortisol levels also become elevated as your body senses stress from lack of sleep. When we lack good quality sleep it can impact our body's ability to regulate cortisol and long term this can really mess with our hormones. So absolutely enjoy those late-night holiday gatherings with family and friends, but try and fit in a few naps as needed and get back to a good sleep routine as soon as possible.

Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season.


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