It’s not the food that causes holiday weight gain.
I mean, if you want to get technical … sure … it’s the food.
But, imagine your child took a rubber band and fired it off into another kid’s eye.
And you responded by scolding the rubber band.
The rubber band was simply the mechanism by which pain was inflicted … not the cause.
Food is the mechanism by which holiday weight gain is created … not the cause.
So the logical question becomes …
What IS the cause?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
I remember several years ago I was traveling this time of year.
My ex-wife and I had just visited friends in Maryland and then were rushing back to PA to have Thanksgiving with my family before heading down to Florida to celebrate Christmas with her family.
At this point in my life, I was firmly entrenched in the dieter’s mindset.
I was training 6 days per week and doing additional cardio and I was tracking my macros obsessively.
I believe I was trying to hit around 1800 calories per day which is insanely low for me.
I remember pulling out all the typical “tricks.”
I would fast for the entire day and “save” all of my calories for dinner.
I would fast the following day after a big meal.
I would order club soda with a splash of cranberry so my friends thought I was drinking.
I would lower my calories as much as I could surrounding the holidays.
I was like a walking eating disorder.
Trying to be perfect can hinder results.
I put so much pressure on myself during that time and I can remember the exact moment where it all came crashing down.
I was beyond stressed.
I was beyond frustrated.
I felt like I was trying so hard to be perfect and had nothing to show for it.
Then, in what seemed like a harmless moment, the floodgates opened.
We stopped for gas on our drive down to Florida (terrible idea to drive there lol) …
And I got trail mix.
Strange choice because I never eat trail mix but I was just done with it all.
I ate the whole bag in like 30 seconds.
And that was it …
Every decision I made from that point on was a total shit show.
I drank, I indulged, I ate beyond discomfort on a daily basis and guess what …
I didn’t give a single fuck.
Not until January when I had gained back every pound that I had lost.
Back to square one.
But, it wasn’t the food.
It was the stress. The obsession. The perfection. The rigidity. The restriction. The deprivation. The over compensation.
Here’s the real kick in the dick …
That January, I joined another weight loss challenge and got to my lowest weight ever.
Only … I wasn’t happy.
I was miserable.
I hated how I looked.
I hated how I felt.
And, it didn’t last very long.
My disordered relationship with food, exercise, and my body lasted a lot longer.
Fortunately, after years of being in a dark place …
I crawled out of that hole.
I figured things out.
And, I learned that it wasn’t the food.
The REAL cause of holiday weight gain …
If I wanted to stay fit and lean WITH the important ingredients of peace of mind and happiness …
I had to fix my mindset.
I had to stop chasing perfection.
I had to stop restricting myself all the damn time.
But most importantly … I had to actually remove stress instead of adding it.
THAT is the cause of holiday weight gain.
An abundance of stress that we pile on through dieting, excessive training, restriction, the need to be perfect, and … ya know … the typical stress of dealing with family during the holidays.
That’s why we often use this season as part of a metabolic priming phase for our clients.
We remove as much stress as possible off their plates and they’re able to relax, enjoy the holidays, and maintain their results.
It also sets things up nicely to improve body composition down the road.
All of this is critically important when it comes to a sustainable process that will serve you for life.
It’s not complicated.
It’s just different than anything else you’ve done in the past which makes it scary.
But once you start … you realize that a stress-free approach that actually gets you results is way better.
The only way to know for sure is to make the commitment.
Understand that the old way isn’t going to work because if it was … it would’ve already worked by now.
It’s time for a change.
Do things differently this year.