Interested in healthy weight loss over the holidays? Try our 6 diet tips!
To lose 5 pounds in December, you’ll need to shave 17,500 calories in 31 days. That’s 3,500 calories per pound.
Keeping those extra holiday snacks off your waistline means you’ll have to create a negative energy balance—burning more calories than you intake. So, if your goal is to lose 5 pounds during the month of December, you’ll need a negative energy balance of 565 calories per day.
Shall we break that down?
Creating a Negative Energy Balance
Let’s say, on average, you consume 2000 calories per day. You’re burning 2,565 calories each day (this includes exercise, calories burned at rest, walking, etc.).
Time to calculate!
Calories consumed each day: 2,000
Calories burned each day: 2,565
2,000 (energy input) – 2,565 (energy output) = – 565 calories
This example showcases a negative energy balance of 565 calories per day. Over the course of a week, 3,955 calories would be burned, which is around 1 pound of fat loss.
In 31 days, you’d burn 17,515 calories. The goal of losing 5 pounds would be met.
Here’s Exactly How to Cut Calories
Listen, the last thing we want you to do is to start counting calories. Resist the temptation to make major cuts in your daily diet, especially since there are so many delicious things to eat around the holidays.
#1 Keep Your Hands Out of the Cookie Jar
Aim to reduce your caloric intake by 100 calories every day. This doesn’t mean writing down every little thing you eat. It means skipping that extra cookie or glass of wine after dinner—those calories add up fast. And if you’re an omnivore, choose skinless chicken or fresh fish over meat. With this simple swap, you can save an additional 100-200 calories each day.
#2 Bump Up the Intensity
You’ll want to bump up the frequency and intensity of your workouts. If you can dedicate 5 to 6 days of training per week, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your weight loss goals.
#3 Focus on the Things You Can Control
If your cravings get the best of you, don’t beat yourself up. Focus on the things you can control—like exercise. Dust yourself off, get back out there and crush your next workout. Whatever you do, don’t give up!
#4 Stick to a Balanced Plate
As hard as it may be around the holidays, don’t eat all of your calories in treats. Those yummy holiday sweets may be tempting, but they’re filled with sugar and get stored as fat if they’re not burned off. Instead, stick to a balanced plate and you’ll definitely reach your weight loss goals.
One cupped hand is equivalent to one serving of carbohydrates (brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole-wheat pasta). One fist equals one serving of vegetables. The size of your palm equals a serving of protein (tofu, tempeh, chicken, turkey, fish). One thumb is a serving of fat (olive oil, avocado, nuts).
Give it a try! Grab a plate and divide it into fourths. One-fourth of your plate should include a lean source of protein. Two-fourths of your plate should include leafy green vegetables. The final one-fourth of your plate should be divided between a starchy carb and yep, you guessed it, more green leafy vegetables. Add in a sliver of fat and you’re good to go.
#5 Work Out Consistently
Stay consistent in burning those extra calories each day. This means prioritizing your workouts even when you don’t feel up to it. You’ll feel better afterward and sooner or later, working out will become a habit.
#6 Downsize Your Plate
On the days you exercise less or not at all, make up the difference by eating less. This doesn’t mean to not eat—it simply means choosing wisely.
One helpful trick is to downsize your plate. Instead of eating from your huge dinner plates, try your salad-sized dishes instead. With this simple shift in portion size, you can save yourself up to 600 calories.
The Bottom Line
Use these tips and tricks to keep you healthy and happy over the holidays. It’s important to get plenty of exercise and eat wholesome, nutritious meals. And by all means, eat those delicious holiday treats—just do so in moderation.
If you’re committed to your holiday weight loss goals, you’ll find that dropping pounds is easier than you may think!
Happy holidays to you and yours from #TeamGymondo!