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Make the Holidays More Peaceful by Normalizing Weight Fluctuations

Get holiday health tips from a celeb nutritionist.

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Kellyann Petrucci, N.D., a nutrition expert and author of Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Breakthrough (available for pre-order now; out Dec 27), has observed that many people are hard on themselves when they gain or regain weight, especially around the holidays. But she points out that weight fluctuations are normal any time of year, and it’s time to normalize them, because when you do, you have food forgiveness. 

Petrucci says she never worries about gaining weight anymore because she does gain weight. The difference is she knows how to take it off and how to manage stress, especially during the holiday season when temptations run high. Instead, she focuses on gut health and overall wellness.

In addition to the things you’d expect to be told to maintain a healthy weight—get plenty of sleep, move your body in some way every day, eat nutritious food—here Petrucci shares some of her favorite nutrition and wellness tips plus a few unexpected ways for you to sneak in some self-care so you’re prepped for the holidays and beyond.  

Aim for “healthyish.” 

Make good choices most of the time, but allow yourself an occasional indulgence. Embrace the 80/20 rule: If you eat healthy food and watch your portion sizes for 80 percent of your meals, you can sprinkle a little fairy dust on the other meals without doing any damage.

Follow the 20-minute rule. 

Frequently, it’s tempting to reach for seconds the instant you finish a plateful of delicious holiday food. But resist this urge. Instead, tell yourself, “If I’m still hungry in 20 minutes, I can have seconds.” That’s how long it takes your body to realize that you’re full.

Turn to the five “magic eraser” foods that help burn off extra fat while they repair and de-age skin.

  1. Bone broth: Intermittent fasting with bone broth is one of the fastest ways to erase the effects of over-indulging. Fasting allows your body to burn off the extra calories you took in, and bone broth gives you a big shot of fat-burning nutrients. If you loaded up on cookies or drank way too much eggnog at the holiday party, intermittent fast for 24 hours. It’s easy: Simply replace your meals and snacks with bone broth. In addition to melting away your extra pounds and healing your gut, you’ll be mainlining a big dose of collagen building blocks to your skin—and your face probably needs some serious damage control if you’ve been partying hearty! 
  2. Coconut oil: Your body metabolizes coconut oil in a different way than other fats, so this oil actively helps you burn off fat. To get a dose of it, enjoy a hefty serving of cauliflower “rice” sautéed in coconut oil at dinnertime.
  3. Green, leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and kale: These foods contain thylakoids that lower your blood sugar—and that translates into faster weight loss. In addition, thylakoids are powerful natural appetite suppressants. Greens also contain lots of fiber, which fills you up. 
  4. Eggs: Egg yolks are loaded with choline, a potent lipotropic nutrient that helps carry fat away from your liver so your body can break it down and metabolize it. Banned diet drugs like ephedra worked because they were lipotropic—but you can get the same fat-burning boost from eggs in a healthy way.
  5. Berries: The nutrients in berries help your body turn white (bad) fat into beige (good) fat. White fat makes you fat, while beige fat helps you burn fat. According to a study from Harvard, beige fat is genetically distinct from brown fat, which also burns calories to generate heat. Brown fat is found in small mammals and human infants, where it protects against harm from cold. White fat, on the other hand, stores calories, and excess white fat contributes to obesity

Keep your daily routine. 

This will help your body and mind feel safe and secure and discourage you from feeling frazzled and opting for self-soothing mechanisms like snacking and napping instead of eating well and working out.

Nibble before you go. 

An hour or so before your party, eat a small snack—some salmon or turkey and a generous serving of non-starchy veggies topped with a little healthy dressing. This will take the edge off your appetite.

Drink wisely. 

Steer clear of sugary mixed drinks and eggnog. Instead, reach for wine, vodka, tequila, or rum—no soda mixers! And limit yourself to one or two drinks, because you won’t make wise food choices if you’re tipsy.

Don’t forget to have fun. 

While you work hard to take care of yourself and make a wonderful holiday season for your loved ones, don’t forget to have some fun. Fun is important for both mental and physical wellness. It can help stave off stress and remind you to be present in the moment. After all, being present is the BEST present during the holiday season and all year long.

About The Author
julieKeller_author-1

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures, ForbesTraveler.com, E! Online, Gayot.com, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.