Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Guide to Losing a Pound During the Holidays

This post was originally done in 2011.  It was such a success in helping others and myself over the holiday season. Every year I come back to follow and promote it.

I (mbfgmike) was tweeting with Jule_E and purelynumbers, and we decided to start the #loseapound hashtag on Twitter. We say this year is going to be different!  We will not go into 2012 with an extra 4-5 pounds of “winter weight” courtesy of Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years.  I hate spending the first few months of a year trying to get back to my pre-Thanksgiving weight.  So, our plan is to LOSE at least one pound between now and Jan 1st, and we want you all to join us.  How to lose a pound during the holidays you ask? Well I'm no expert.  Everything I have learned about diet and weight loss has come from other people.  Some stuff has worked for me, and some has not. I will share my plan, which is based on what has worked for me in the past.  If there are things that work better for you, I would love to hear about them.

 First, I will look at what I know will happen. I will over-eat at Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner will be tragic, and my family has 2 heart-clogging, yummy, calorie-packed breakfasts (one is the weekend before Christmas). Then, there’s New Years dinner and Drinks,  Forget about it.  I’m doomed!! How am I going to lose weight during all of this? Crap, let’s not forget all the leftovers I HAVE to eat. Ok, this might be tougher than I thought.  I need help. I need a plan. I might need bigger pants after all that food too. Is there a way to eat all of this, enjoy the holidays, and lose weight? Maybe I can make some little changes on the bad days, and bigger changes on the rest of the days to hit my goal.

I will over-eat on Thanksgiving, I know that will be the case, I’m weak, and will cave.  So knowing that, I will also make some good decisions. I will try to over-eat some things that are better for me. Maybe a piece of fruit, instead of an extra piece of pie.  Ill put more veggies on my FIRST dinner plate, than potatoes and stuffing.  Dare I say even use less gravy than normal?  This may not seem like much, but doing these few things could easily save me 700 calories. Holy Crap - that’s more calories than I normally eat for lunch or breakfast!!!  Doing similar things on the other holidays will also help out tremendously. When going out and having drinks, I’ll stick to light beer or Guiness (that only has 112 calories), use club soda as a mixer instead of tonic or fruit juice, or just order a good whisky “neat” and a glass of water. Every one of these decisions will save me calories and help with my mission.

Ok, now we have step 1 make good significant decisions on the bad days.  I think we need 3 more steps to follow. More than 4 would complicate things and less than 4 won’t seem like it would be enough to help accomplish such a big task.  So now I will make up 3 more steps so it seems more official.
Step 2 will be keeping track of your food.  I find that if you’re more conscious of what you shove down your gullet, the less you shovel in.  This is just another way of saying count your calories. I use Myfitnesspal for this, it has a great database of foods, and it keeps track of net calories (calories in –calories burned).   That’s a great tie into step 3: Exercise!! Yep that’s right, it needs to be done. Jule_E says try for at least 3 times a week, but if your eating more, you need to exercise more. It’s that simple. Again, I find that Myfitnesspal works great for this. Now for step 4: Use Twitter. This challenge was created because of a conversation on twitter, and it is a great positive forum to rely on each other to accomplish the goal. When you make a goal public and report in when doing good and when struggling it helps keep it on the forefront of your mind. Twitter also helps us to motivate each other, and pick up one another when we fall.  It makes it more fun when you have a group, and that helps to stick with it.  So we want you to tweet that you’re going to join us using the #loseapound hastag so we know you’re on board.  Then continue to use the hashtag as you report in (try to at least 3 times a week).   You can search the hashtag to read the stream and comment on everyone's progress.  If you’re not on twitter, leave me a comment and ill try to find you on Facebook and we can report in that way, or continue to use the comment section of this post for your reports.

So to recap, we want to lose at least a pound between now and Jan 1st and will do so by following 4 simple steps:

1) Make good significant decisions on the bad days
2) Keeping track of your food
3) Exercise!!
4) Use twitter (#loseapound)
Let’s all have fun and start tweeting!!!


  1. This goes along with another hashtag #RWRunStreak. The idea is that you run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving through January 1st. It doesn't matter how fast, slow,inside on a treadmill or in the snow and ice just at least a mile every day.