November 2017 Healthy Lifestyle

As the holiday season nears there is often a common concern: weight gain. Some will say “not this year” yet still gain a couple pounds, and then others have the “it’s inevitable” mindset. Both approaches serve a purpose, but produce the same result of gaining weight.

Societal expectations or lifestyle patterns may make it seem like it’s a necessary phase of the year to experience, but I am here to tell you it’s not. To get a jumpstart on avoiding holiday weight gain there are four simple steps to take.

Step One: Honor your hunger and fullness scales. Hunger scale: I recommend eating when you are around a level 3 on a scale of 1-to-10 (1=noticing hunger, 10=starving). When you wait until you are ravenous you are guaranteed to overeat. Fullness scale: eat until you are a 7 (1=starving, 10=stuffed). You are looking to be satiated, nourished and energized.

Step Two: Water is a weapon. Get a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Water gives you energy, helps digestion, decreases sugar cravings and hydrates your skin and joints. It’s also crucial as the weather gets colder. Be disciplined with 8-10oz before a meal, after a meal and in between alcoholic beverages. Warning: it takes about 72 hours for your body to get accustomed to being adequately hydrated until it knows what to do with it, so sit tight and persevere.

Step Three: Apply the 1:3 ratio and acknowledge sabotage. Every time you want a treat, indulge every third time. Opportunities will be present at every event, but sugar sends you onto a roller coaster that only leads to the spare tire around your waistline. Be disciplined and mindful of when/where/why you self-sabotage. Craving love, safety and belonging can be subconscious demons during the holidays.

Step Four: Sleep as much as possible. Sleep allows our bodies to replenish and recover. More importantly, our blood sugar level stabilizes. When this happens glucagon, the hormone that breaks down glycogen and glucose, can do its job which is specifically to access your excess sugar so it can be burned/utilized.

This holiday season can be different. Life is change, growth is optional, so choose wisely.

About the Author: This is Alyssa Poggioli’s second contribution to SW Lake Lifestyle. She is a Lake Zurich-based holistic and lifestyle coach who empowers others to create health enriched freedom when it comes to self-care, nutrition, exercise and spirituality. To learn more go to or call 847.544.8181.