A Guide To Avoid Gaining Weight Over The Holidays For Totally Normal People

Like most people, I used to rush to the gym in January after the holidays in hopes of reversing all the (delicious) damage I had done to my body from Thanksgiving to New Years.

Except for last year, that is.

It’s been one year since I’ve started cooking 70 percent of my meals (woo!), and two very important things have changed so far:

  1. I lost ten pounds when I started cooking consistently – even though I wasn’t really trying
  2. More importantly, I was able to maintain my new weight, which I had never successfully done before.

I took this selfie just one week into January of this year, after the holiday season. Obviously, I was feeling pretty good about my new bathing suit (and my body).

Where's the beach #happynewyear #2016

A post shared by Talia Koren (@thetalillama) on

But I can’t be the only person who has stared at her body in the mirror after several holiday dinners and thought, “Did I have to eat those five slices of pie?”

Let’s face it. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan or a lover of all foods, you’re probably going to eat more than you usually do through the holidays. Unless you’re one of those dedicated people who hits the gym every day before or after work, eating more usually leads to weight gain.

I want to talk about how to maintain your weight during the holiday season.

Keep scrolling if you want to read about why this key to staying happy and energized through New Years (and on).

But if you just want my totally realistic step-by-step plan to crushing this holiday season without gaining weight, enter your email address below. It will be delivered to your inbox immediately!

Not too long after Thanksgiving, office kitchens start to fill up with cake, gift baskets and seasonal treats.

Maybe your roommates went candy-crazy after Halloween and now you have a stash of Hershey’s kisses to last you through spring.

And out of nowhere your calendar is suddenly packed with holiday parties and events that promise a never-ending flow of wine.

If only calories didn’t count when in good company.

I wrote this post and the guide, which you can grab below because I can’t stand reading holiday weight loss tips that are so unrealistic, not even the healthiest person in the world could stick to them.Like these tips from Shape. They actually expect us to start sneaking in 15 minutes of exercise during the day through the holidays. I know in theory that sounds nice and all, but if I can barely make it to the gym more than three times in December, how am I supposed to create a brand new habit? We should be honest with ourselves. It’s just not going to happen. 

Because life gets in the way. Instead of adding a new workout regimen to worry about, during the holidays we should be taking body stress off our plates.

You deserve to get through the holidays without regretting every delightful bite of your grandma’s famous apple pie.


It’s proven that the more you think about restricting yourself from goodies, the harder they are to avoid.

Don’t believe me? Here’s an eye-opening video from Business Insider where a Harvard Medical School psychologist breaks down why rigid thinking actually sabotages your goals.

If you’re worried about weight, just trying to “eat less” will make just make your life harder. Instead, you can mindfully eat what you love without feeling guilty. You’ll feel good about yourself after the holidays, instead of wishing you had more self-control.

The holiday season is stressful, and stress turns us into overeaters.

At work, It’s crunch time. Projects and deadlines pile up quickly, and everyone rushes to get work done before they check out.

All of the sudden you feel popular because you’re going to so many holiday parties. Between work and your social life, finding time to even do laundry becomes a struggle.

And as lovely as they might be, family dinners can be a source of unnecessary pressure. Whether you’re the one preparing a huge meal or traveling a long distance to get home, it’s stressful.

I mean, just look at my brother’s face. He travels all the way from California to come home for holidays.

If my life was a sitcom this would be the poster. My brother loves being home.

A post shared by Talia Koren (@thetalillama) on


It doesn’t help that stress and weight gain are best friends.

When you’re stressed out, your body produces a hormone called cortisol, which can cause a dip in your blood sugar. And when that happens, your body craves sugary, fatty foods.

Stress-induced cravings get even more dangerous when you’re surrounded by seasonal treats.

My cheat sheet will make the holidays less stressful by helping you focus more on what really matters: your friends and family.

Plus, it will help you avoid the comments from other people who might ask you if you’re “on a diet” when you put a tiny sliver of pie on your plate (when you really just want a whole piece).

When it comes to food and exercise, your body is basically like a credit card.

Overspending and getting into debt is way too easy. You can spend thousands of dollars with a few taps on your phone, which is so scary to think about!

But paying debt off is MUCH harder to do. The best way to avoid debt is by not overspending in the first place.

Same with eating.

You can easily couch it all day on Thanksgiving, watching fantastic holiday movies on TV while stuffing your face with chips and hummus followed by a giant meal at 4 pm.

But exercising enough to burn all those calories off after the fact is hard work. One session at the gym won’t undo weeks of drinking and eating at holiday events.

In life, you’re going to fall off the healthy lifestyle wagon. It’s just a matter of making it easier for yourself to get back on.

Be aware of the dinners, events and meals where you know you’ll want to indulge.

The rest of the time when you’re at work or at home? Eat normally. Your Thanksgiving meal shouldn’t turn into a four-day-long leftover eating marathon.

No matter where you are in the world, the holiday season means an abundance of delicious food which leads to weight gain.

Studies prove people all over the world gain weight during the holiday season. For Americans, that’s around December. Other countries have holiday seasons at different times in the year, but no matter when it is, people see a spike in weight.

The most alarming part of this study is researchers found that even though the weight people gain over the holidays is pretty small, the pounds add up over the years. 

So, why not avoid all that by not gaining weight in the first place?

I’m telling you, it’s easier than it sounds.

I created a motivational, realistic guide to help you maintain your weight during the holiday season.

Come mid-January, you’ll feel more confident and energetic than everyone else.

What you WILL NOT find in this guide:

  • Tips on how to get quick workouts in between everything
  • Information about counting calories and eating less
  • Encouragement to avoid holiday parties and gatherings altogether
  • The “gum” trick (like the one suggested here – ridiculous)

Here’s what you will find in this guide:

  • Realistic ways to eat what you want without feeling guilty or packing on extra pounds
  • Five 30-minute recipes for easy, weekly meal preps to keep you on track for all diets (vegan, gluten-free etc)
  • Tips on what to eat and do on days where you won’t be celebrating the holidays
  • The necessary mindset and motivation to maintain, not lose or gain. (hehe that rhymed)

All you need for these steps to work is an appreciation of your own body!

Sign up below to grab the free guide to avoid weight gain during the holiday season (for normal people)!

Do you have this issue around the holidays? What have you tried in the past that did (or didn’t) work?

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