Christina Carlyle | How to Be That Girl and Lose Weight this Holiday Season
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How to Be That Girl and Lose Weight this Holiday Season

How to be that girl and lose weight this holiday season

30 Oct How to Be That Girl and Lose Weight this Holiday Season

I celebrated my 32nd birthday this past Tuesday, *October 28th.* I always seem to have a birthday on a random weekday… also, I have a lot of different types of people in my life and they all come in different flavors… family, friends, professional, party people, healthy people, very close, kinda close, and then some who are liked adopted sisters. I find that I get to celebrate my bday several times, this week, eating and drinking my favorite things and my favorite restaurants… once upon a time, I’d used to get both happy and anxious, assuming that celebrating meant I’d have to gain some weight.

I know a lot ladies live, laugh, love and have a good time too. They’re my soul sisters that work hard and like to play hard, too. But they also want while to be able to have a great time, and step on the scale and be confident about the number they see. Since, my birthday sort of kicks off the holiday season, I thought it’d be nice to share some of my secrets I use to lose/prevent gaining weight during the holiday season. There are easy ways I’ve mastered that allow me to have my cake, and eat it too… without gaining any weight… because after-all, what’s the point of celebrating if you can’t enjoy yourself, too?

Top Tips on How to Be That Girl and Lose Weight this Holiday Season

I know these tips can help you be that girl… the one who loses weight and has heads turning this holiday season. There are tons of easy tips waiting for you on the blog, if you’re willing to take a few moments to check them out. I tried to make them as easy and effective as possible. That way you can start using them asap and see the results you want on the scale quickly. Before I get into the tips, I want to make sure you understand how you can help your body lose weight and prevent gaining it. Whenever you’re exposed to toxic, processed and/or acidic foods and drinks, it’s possible to trigger your body to slow the metabolism. As soon as your body detects the toxic substance, it stops worrying about burning fat and shifts its focus to ridding your body of said toxic substance(s).

Typically, our go-to party foods and drinks, have toxic and/or addictive properties to them. Foods and drinks that are nutrient deficient, sugary, toxic, acidic, and alcoholic all have the ability to affect your mood. As your body is dealing and healing with the foods you eat, pay attention to how you’re feeling. If you feel good, great, it should be easy to stay on track! If you feel bad, or struggle to stay on track, you made the wrong choice for your body.

When you crave a specific food or drink its because you *think* it will help you feel better, because it always has in the past. If you have a habit or a ritual with a food and a drink, your hormones are triggering it. If you can’t stop, it’s because your hormonal responses have been reinforced strongly enough that they’ve created an addiction.

That means your go-to cup of coffee, cocktail, snack or treat, all have the ability to throw you off track temporarily and permanently. Choose wisely. If you feel bloated, hung-over, tired, unmotivated and/or craving a specific thing, like salt or sugar your hormones need your help. If you’ve ever struggled with emotional eating or drinking – like me – then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Families, friends, finances, work and juggling tons of activities, people, and places can trigger strong emotions… when you use things to cope with your emotions, it’s not difficult to get caught up, start making excuses and fall off track quickly.

Prevent problems before they start… check yourself before you wreck yourself

Whatever you do, do not eat or drink what you’re craving – especially if you’re feeling tired, stressed or anxious… Eating double and triple servings, can easily add pounds.  Sugar, salt, carbs, and alcohol also have the ability to trigger your body to retain water weight. It’s not fun to feel like the Michelin Man on your birthday… or celebrating anything really. I mean, it’s hard to strut when you’re sucking it in.

From drinks, to treats, dinner and dessert, celebratory feasts can easily rack up calories fast. According to the Caloric Control Council, an average holiday dinner alone, contains of 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat. That’s more than twice the daily number of calories and three times daily recommended fat intake. The holidays are a special time of year to gather with loved ones, to celebrate, have fun, and eat.  You don’t have to feel left out or go overboard eating, this holiday season.  You can easily avoid cheating on your diet and lose weight with my top tips to stay on track and fight fat during the holiday season.  It’s easy really…

Meal Prep

The first thing I do, is prevent overeating and gaining weight altogether.  I make sure I prepare, so I have everything I need, ready-to-go, during the week. Meal prepping helps make sure you have easy, healthy options already, ready already. That way all you have to do is grab and go.  It’s very easy to rack up hundreds of extra calories when you’re rushed, hungry, stressed and in need of an easy button.  It helps to have perfectly proportioned meals, snacks and ingredients, prepped and ready to go.

The trick is making sure you have the right servings of the right things, that help keep you full and fight fat. It’s also important you have them at the right times. I always run from breakfast to the gym, so I need easy breakfasts, I can eat in minutes.  That’s why I made a few extra servings of the breakfast egg muffins.  They’re seriously one of the easiest bulk breakfast recipes I know, that just about every one loves. I prepped a lot of other fruits and veggies so I could make quick salads and snacks on the fly, too. I’ll get into creative ways to use them a little later.

If you eat at a restaurant, you can easily ‘meal prep’ too. Restaurants meals always have multiple servings on a plate and it’s easy to overeat, because there is portion distortion. Cut your restaurant meal in half, then box the rest to take home. Voila! Your lunch lunch the next has been ‘prepped.’

It’s very easy to rack up hundreds of extra calories eating multiple servings in one sitting.


Overcome Portion Distortion

You want to make sure you’re getting the right sizes and sources of fat fighting foods at home, a party or a restaurant.  You can accomplish this easily by filling your plate like this:
2 servings of vegetables
1 serving of protein
1 serving of the good stuff (i.e. starchy carbs, like bread, potatoes, rice, etc.)
1 small serving of the really good stuff

Measure Serving Sizes Anywhere

1 Fist = 1 cup or 1 serving of vegetables
Palm without fingers = 3-4 oz., 1 serving of protein
1 cupped palm = ½ cup of a fruit or starch, potato, beans, rice, etc.
Full Thumb = 1 ounce or 1 serving of solid fats like cheese, avocado, nuts
Tip of Thumb = 1 tsp. or 1 serving of liquid fats like, oil, butter, mayonnaise

This way, you can clean your plate and lose weight.

Fill up and Fake out Your Brain

It takes your brain about 20 minutes to register that you are full. That means you could eat for 20 minutes straight, before your brain will trigger Ghrelin production to get you to feel the desire to stop eating. Grehlin is a hormone that controls your desire to pick up the fork and when to put it back down. Bite rally’s and Water will help you fill up and prevent overeating.

Moderate Moderation with Bite Rally’s

Think of a bite rally like a bootcamp drill… 1 round of Bite Rally Bootcamp is: 2 sips of water, followed by 2 bites of a veggie, one bite of protein, and finishes with 1 bite of a ‘the good stuff.’  Think buttery, cheesy, bread-based, or sweet. The last bliss bite of these holiday favorites completes the drill. Repeating this 2-2-1-1 pattern, will help you two ways. It allows you to take up space in your stomach with low calorie, high nutrient foods.  It also ensures, you’ll get the perfect proportions weight loss friendly foods needed to trigger your body to release fat.  Drinking a glass of water, before during and after helps physically take up space in your stomach and regulate hunger, preventing the ability and desire to overeat.

Do Drink Rally’s, too

Alternate drinking alcoholic, sugary and/or acidic drinks with glasses of water.  That means, for every cocktail and cup of coffee you have, drink a glass or 2 of ice cold water.   Drink rally’s will help flush the alcohol from your system, prevent dehydration, and minimize a reduction in the metabolism.  I also recommend a 2 drink daily maximum, if you’re trying to lose weight.  If you’re trying to maintain a loss, repeat the treat drink – glass (or 2) of water – drink pattern until you’re sufficiently buzzed or caffeinated.

Make Smart Skinny Substitutions

A lot of party and seasonal Holiday dishes and drinks default to the bliss bite (or sip) category.  Sweet, savory, buttery sauces, salads, gravies, sides, and desserts, are all considered ‘good stuff.’  You can turn a bliss bite and drink into healthy choice by making smart substitutions to cut calories, fat and sugar, that don’t affect the flavor.  These swaps will help keep you light and lean instead of lethargic.

Turkey – One 3-oz serving of light or white meat typically contains 140 calories and 3 grams of fat.  Dark meat has about 160 calories and 7 grams of fat.  Skip eating the skin.  The skin adds  another 15-20 calories and 1 gram of fat to every bite.   Basting the turkey with chicken broth instead of pan drippings cuts calories and will make your bird juicy.

Stuffing – An average 1/2-cup serving typically contains 180 calories and 9 grams.  That serving is the size of a tennis ball.   Swap butter for chicken broth and save up to 50 calories per serving.  Use whole grain bread (breadcrumbs) and boost nutrients adding more veggies like; onions, water chestnuts, carrots and celery.  All stuffing friends, tasty, low-cal veggies that’ll add vitamins.  Plus, the whole grains and veggies have fat fighting fiber.  #winning

Mashed potatoes – have about 220 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving from butter, cream, and/or milk.  Swap full fat varieties for low or non fat milk.  Add flavor with herbs and low-fat plain Greek Yogurt… it tastes just like sour cream but with protein.  You can make low carb Mashed Cauliflower as a potato alternative, in addition to the spuds.

Sweet Potatos – Just one ½ cup serving has about 300 calories.   The brown sugar and marshmallows add tons of sugar to an otherwise fat fighting friendly sweet potato.  Serve baked sweet potatoes instead and give your guests the option to add their own brown sugar and butter to taste.  A ½ cup of baked sweet potato will save you over 150 calories per serving.  You can serve low fat plain greek yogurt as a topper, too.

Green Bean Casserole – One 1/2-cup serving typically contains 120 calories, 8 grams of fat and 550 milligrams of sodium.   Use low-sodium or reduced-fat varieties of cream of mushroom (cream of celery) soup.  You’ll save 120 calories and 16 grams of fat by using the reduced-fat version.  Dilute the soup with water, low or non fat milk, or low-sodium chicken broth.

Gravy – Gravy has about 100 calories and 4 grams of fat in a 2 tablespoons.  You probably already skim the layer of fat off of the top before serving… but if you add a few ice cubes,  more fat will harden and you can scoop up to 2 times more fat without affecting flavor.

Listen to me explain how to use these tips to Stay on Track During Thansgiving during an Interview with Austin York, from KRLD 1080 CBS Radio in Dallas, Texas.


Pumpkin-flavored anything, cakes, and cookies are delicious… Yes. These are the things we crave.   But, they also have a lot of sugar, 1 serving can have as much as 50 grams… that’s a lottttt of fat fuel.  Exercise will help hedge the calories, but all that sugar will trigger your body to store fat.  If you’re baking, use your favorite natural, calorie free sugar substitute, like stevia instead of sugar.  You’ll save 440 calories for every 1/2 cup of sugar you substitute.  I recently shared a recipe for my Skinny Spice Pumpkin Latte.  Sometimes just having the taste will satisfy your seasonal sweet tooth.  Still, want the real thing?  Pumpkin pie has about 245 calories and 13 fat grams a slice.  Indulge by eating the filling and leaving the crust.  You’ll shave 112 calories and 7.5 grams if you scoop out the filling.



If you’re the type of person who can’t stop once they pop… meaning that you know you’ll be triggered to eat the whole piece, or another piece….  or the whole damn pie from just one single taste of the real stuff… like me… then try this recipe instead.   It’s full festive fall flavor, helps burn fat, and allows you to indulge guilt free without feeling deprived. You’ll need:

½ cup water
½ scoop vanilla whey protein powder
½ cup low fat cottage cheese
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp dash cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp walnuts
1 tbsp calorie free sugar substitute
5 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Enjoy!  This low-carb, low-sugar smoothie is creamy and light plus it has less than 220 calories.

Natural Sources are the Best Choices

Obviously, natural sources of lean proteins, vegetables and fruits are the best foods for weight loss and wellness. I highly recommend meal prepping. This way you’ll have a lot of extra servings of healthy options available to make healthy meals in minutes.  For weight loss, it’s smart to bring healthy options with you to events.  You can either make healthier versions of party perfect foods…  you can find 14 healthy and party perfect recipes here.  It’s also lovely to use fresh fruits and vegetables to make fun and festive party-platters.  Either way you go, you’ll look like a domestic goddess and a healthy hero.

Cute and Creative Healthy Holiday Ideas

There are tons of ways you can, overcome portion distortion,  avoid cheating on your diet  and how you can clean your plate without gaining weight anytime, anywhere.

It works if you work it!


Christina Carlyle