How To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain – His & Hers Guide

Hi friends! How’s your week going?!  Pretty good here. Some weeks I feel buried and overwhelmed, but this week has started off on a super productive foot and I’m feeling ambitious about getting lots of stuff done!  Even some of those pesky things that have been on the to-do list forever! Which ties in perfectly for today because we’re talking taking care of your body during the holidays.

You’re in for a treat because my handsome hubby is back sharing his secret for how he recently lost weight and then I’ll share my tips for keeping those extra pounds off at the end of the year!  No one likes to start the new year with an additional 10 pounds to lose, we want to start off feeling fresh and invigorated!

his and hers- how to avoid holiday weight gain

Jeans TTS, 25 • Tee TTS, XS • Cozy Cardi TTS, XS/S • UGG Moccasin • Dress Shirt • Similar Tie

In my last post, many of you remarked that it looks like I have lost weight. Since then, several other people have said, “you look different,” which I will assume means “looks like you’ve lost weight” instead of you look like Swamp Thing or Shrek. Well, you would be right, I have lost weight; about 15 pounds since middle of July.

A few years ago, I did a challenge for the gym we belong to and I lost almost 25 pounds in 40 days. I can tell you it was not a healthy weight loss and within about 6 months I had put all the weight back on. So, what’s different now: diet. I decided to try making the majority of my diet more vegan and vegetarian. Now before you say, “oh dear God, not another one of these whack job stories,” I will tell you that I was a huge skeptic, mostly because I have always viewed most vegans as people who were doing it for purely political purposes, realizing of course there are those who do it for religious and other reasons.

At various points in my life I have been a workout fiend (twice a day), and at other times not so much (couldn’t find the gym with a search warrant, a guide team, and a GPS device). During the times that I was working out one thing remained consistent: a heavy protein diet consisting mostly of meat, meat, more meat and protein shakes. When I was a teenager in high school this was not a problem as my metabolism burned faster than a comet across the night’s sky. As I got older though, this diet was clearly not working but I was in complete denial about it. Mostly because I love steak; and chicken; and sausage; and BBQ; and the all you can eat Brazilian joints.

However, after finally reaching the point where I just knew something had to change I decided to give the whole vegan/vegetarianism thing a try. I decided to go cold turkey and jump right into vegan. Megan thought I was crazy, hell I thought I was crazy too. I honestly did not believe I was going to make it 48 hours before going around the corner to Whataburger and ordering a double meat with cheese all the way with fries and a chocolate shake. To my surprise though, it was actually very easy. For 4 straight weeks, I ate vegan. Not only no meat, but no dairy, and no other animal products like eggs. It was crazy town around here!

The big thing I did not do was promote this on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media, I wasn’t in this for a cause and I didn’t see any need to promote it. I just wanted to see if this would make me feel better. I also did not tell people that I went out to lunches with that I was doing this. I stayed silent. Funny thing, no one said a thing to me. If I ordered a salad at lunch, or some other dish with vegan compliant ingredients nobody said, “what’s wrong with you!” I didn’t get anyone judging me or telling me that it wouldn’t last, or asking, “Are you some kind of communist?” In some ways, it was an interesting social experiment. People who have known me for years and know my carnivore consuming ways didn’t even pick up on it. But, by doing it this way, there wasn’t any pressure. If I couldn’t keep it up or I could quit, no big deal.

What I found after those 4 weeks was crazy. I had dropped about 8 pounds with limited working out and felt 1000% better. The biggest challenge was ahead though: our trip to New Orleans. Megan asked me, “what are you going to do?” I’m going to eat like I am in New Orleans, that’s what I’m going to do. It was one weekend and like I said I wasn’t in this for some political purpose I was doing it to see if I would feel better. I went to New Orleans and I ate meat and all sorts of other decadent foods, and it was delicious! When we got back to Houston, I went back to the new diet I had begun but decided I didn’t need to be militant about it. I could still have meat and dairy if I wanted, just not every day and for every meal. I have adopted that philosophy since we returned and have managed to lose another 7 pounds or so.

The term, “moderation,” really does apply to me and eating large quantities of meat at this point in my life. I am by no means advocating this and saying you need to do it. What I’m saying is find what works for you, just as I hope I have found something that might work for me. Everyone is different and what works for some of us ain’t gonna work for others. I have not forsaken meat or ice cream or anything like that, I just don’t eat them every day 3 to 4 times a day.

The holidays are of course the worst time of the year to try and control your diet and not eat and drink to excess. Between the holiday gatherings with family and the holiday parties with your co-workers and friends your liver and other vital organs curse your very name. It’s also probably not the best time to try some new crazy diet. Once the dust has settled though everyone, men and women, will make their New Year’s Resolutions and along with diet going to the gym is always in the Top 5 priorities.

So, for all the guys out there who you know will make their post-holiday return to the gym, I have spent hours (well, not really hours) scouring the Nordstrom website and found 8 workout items that you can pick up for him to help in his fitness efforts. They do actually have a pretty great selection of workout clothes there and online shopping is so much easier than venturing to the store!  You read about my recent experience, right?!

HIS FITNESS PICKS - men's workout clothes

2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7  • 8

Dry Training Shirt • Long sleeve shirts are always good for the winter months and, because this one is dry fit, you can still wear it in the summertime if you really want to get your sweat on and avoid the farmer’s tan on the arms.
Training Pants • You need pants to wear to the gym and some of these workout pants they make these days either taper at the leg (not for me) or are really snug on your thighs (no thank you). These pants avoid either of those unwanted scenarios, however, if he likes that sort of thing the website has plenty of ankle and thigh hugging pants to choose from.
Training Hoodie  • Everyone needs at least one hoodie. I probably have half a dozen hoodies. They are great for this time of year and not just for working out.
Performance Tee • You have to have t-shirts no matter the time of year, it’s called layering. Here in the south you might wear a hoodie in the morning, but you will want that t-shirt by the early afternoon.
‘Fly’ Dry Fit Training Shorts • I have no idea what the ‘Fly’ stands for, nor have I found an explanation for it or why it is in quotations. All I know is for the exact same reason you need t-shirts, you need shorts.
No Show Socks • More socks. I’ll preach it again, you can never have too many socks. These are black so you can change up the color choices a little bit.
‘Windrunner’  Colorblock Jacket  • Again, I have zero clue about what’s up with the quotes, but I do know that jackets like this are great for running when you don’t want something as heavy as a hoodie.
Sneakers • These things just look cool and Brooks always gets high marks in the running shoe department.

That’s all I have for now, so in the words of my son: “smash that like button and leave me a comment!”

___________

Hi! It’s Megan again! I swear I couldn’t believe my husband was going vegan, espeically since this is the same guy that always used to take me to steakhouses and order his meat still mooing!  He’s a true meat lover, so for him to give it up for a straight month astounded me!  But, I’m so glad he feels better now!

You might be wondering if I went vegan too.  No, I did not.  Although I gave up meat for a month, except for two trips to Chick-fil-A, I ate fish and shrimp and he didn’t.  Although Jimmy advises not necessarily starting a new diet plan until after the New Year, I have some tips to help you still enjoy the holidays without gaining extra weight that you’re battling to lose at the beginning of the year!

5 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays Without Gaining Weight

  1. Don’t go to a party hungry – eat your meal at home first. That way you control what’s on the menu as opposed to leaving it up to the host.  Sometimes there’s really nothing ‘healthy’ at a party, so you’re at the mercy of whatever they’re serving.  
  2. Avoid mindless snacking – those calories add up quick, sometimes you aren’t even eating to enjoy the food, but rather for something to do at a party.  You aren’t even hungry! Mingle, dance, enjoy the people and company. Make a plate and move away from the food table/kitchen/serving area!   
  3. Indulge wisely – if you do want to taste ALL the good food, eat lighter during the day to balance it out. Don’t be afraid to try the one-bite rule. You don’t have to finish the dessert, but you don’t want to offend the chef and not be able to tell him/her how great it was 🙂 I actually REALLY love dessert, so I’ll just ‘save room’ by eating less of the appetizers or meal and have a big piece of pie!
  4. Drink water in between cocktails – And choose cocktails with more water/sparkling water ingredients for less calories.  For me, two drinks is plenty and keeps me from feeling terrible the next day.  If I do overindulge, I’m more likely to eat bad the next day and forget about working out.
  5. Keep working out – the big thing here is that if you keep up your workouts, you’re more likely to make better food choices because you think- I didn’t just spend all that time and energy working out to blow it.  OR you can also think, hey, I’ve worked out, now I can enjoy ‘guilt free’ all this good food!
For me, waking up early and doing group classes have been a lifesaver this year! Not only do I get my workout in at the start of the day and have it over with, following an instructor at a class ensures you get a great workout and stay the whole time!  And honestly, these group classes are no joke- they are a fantastic workout! I usually do a high intensity strength training class or spin.
zella workout top and nike flyknit sneakers
Long Sleeve Tee XS (size up for a looser fit) • Running Shorts • Sneakers (size up half)
And last week, I started training with my trainer again.  I’ll do once a week with him because I wanted to amp up my workouts and he’s truly the best! OMG- if I had a penny for every lunge I’ve done down this aisle!!!
zella workout top and nike sneakers
workout
Tee TTS, XS (40% off) • Capri Leggings TTS, XS • Sneakers TTS
Now that it’s getting chilly, I finally invested in a quality athletic jacket. This one has moisture wicking material that dries quickly to keep you cool if you wear it outside running.  It’s also stretchy enough to move in. I like the thumbhole cuffs and zip pockets- and the inside pocket with headphone cord port is a bonus!
Zella workout jacket
Jacket TTS, XS
I bought these new sneakers too, but mistakenly ignored the fit guide.  I’m used to Nikes running small, so I ordered a size up, but they were too big.  Apparently, some Nike shoes fit TTS now! Opps!  So, back these go (thankfully Nordstrom offers free shipping and free returns!), but they are very cushiony and lightweight.
I prefer the flyknit for running, but these are a grey low impact exercise shoe.  And for everyday running around and general exercise, you can’t beat these sneakers.  They fit TTS.
Over the years I’ve learned that keeping strong and fit just makes me a happier and healthier person, so I keep it a priority in my life.  I’m not militant about my diet or exercise, but I definitely feel better when I’m eating mostly healthy and exercising several times a week. Is that true for you too?!
zella workout top and zella capri leggings
Texans Hat •  Tee TTS, XS (40% off) • Capri Leggings TTS, XS
Now that we’ve started talked about holiday parties, I’ll see you back here tomorrow with two fabulous party dresses! In the meantime, you can see my everyday outfits on Instagram, and find the newest steals on my Facebook page, and catch our daily shenanigans on Stories!
Have a great day, friend!
*Affiliate links used in collaboration with Nordstrom. 
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36 Comments

  1. Kellee
    November 15, 2017 / 6:59 am

    Great post! Those 5 tips are going to come in handy for me. I’m mostly going to use #3 the most!

    • November 15, 2017 / 9:34 am

      So glad this post is helpful Kellee! Have a great day!

  2. Joan S
    November 15, 2017 / 7:23 am

    I am a huge fan of structured classes. I was almost 50 before I ever routinely and (somewhat) consistently exercised. Once I found the kind out workout that “works” for me, and in a class format, I have been able to keep it up. Almost 5 years later, I feel great, am in better shape than ever, and have dropped, and kept off, around 10 pounds since starting. I go to Pure Barre. Have you tried this workout?

    • November 15, 2017 / 9:35 am

      Once you find something that works for you, you’re more likely to stick with it. Same thing with the classes- especially if you find an instructor you like or a particular group of people. So happy to hear about your success! I feel like it’s even more important to stay fit as I get older! And especially as an “older” mom.

  3. Dawn Scheurich
    November 15, 2017 / 7:41 am

    Your husband cracks me up! Seriously, though, I totally agree with what he says about keeping your diet changes private—I do the same. I don’t want judgement if I decide to eat something that may not be on my “plan”. He had good tips, thank him for sharing!

    • November 15, 2017 / 9:36 am

      Yeah, I was surprised to hear he did that when he told me.

  4. Sandra
    November 15, 2017 / 8:02 am

    Great post! I’ve also been trying to eat more of a vegan diet lately! Do you have suggestions for recipes or snacks you could share?

    • November 15, 2017 / 9:37 am

      Sure! I can tell you it was mostly rice, beans and veggies all combined into one dish meals! But Jimmy is a good cook, and using seasonings helps up the flavor! We also like chickpeas a lot, and they are a great snack roasted with different seasonings.

      • Sandra
        November 15, 2017 / 2:10 pm

        Ohh I love chickpeas … I also found this recipe for chickpea patties that’s amazing. I think I can send it to you on Pinterest. Anyway, love the blog and I follow you on Instagram as well. You’re great!

  5. November 15, 2017 / 8:08 am

    Great tips. It really is all about moderation. Truthfully, all life is about that. When our family had to change their diets for health reasons, we got asked (and still do on occasion) a lot of questions. Mainly, “why don’t you eat ______?” The usual go to answer was, “well, if you ate something and every time you ate it you felt sick, etc…would you continue to eat it?” You can guess the answer.
    It’s a personal choice, so I agree with Jimmy not making his choice public (and it is an interesting experiment). He is so correct in one size (or diet in this case) does not fit all. I think too often people jump on a certain “diet bandwagon” only to be disappointed.
    Wishing you and the family a happy and healthy holiday season.

    • November 15, 2017 / 9:33 am

      It’s true! And funny how by not mentioning it, people didn’t even really notice! Happy holidays to you too!

  6. Alicia
    November 15, 2017 / 8:09 am

    I recently went back to calorie counting. I exercise regularly, but counting aka measuring my portions, has been the best way to chisel off any extra poundage. 👍🏼
    With this “style” of weight loss, I also eat more veggies because they are filling and you get to eat a lot for the calories! Y’all look great! Thanks for sharing😊

    • November 15, 2017 / 9:32 am

      The calories add up so fast! I used to track on My Fitness Pal and it’s so eye opening to see how much calories you’re really eating!

  7. Kelsey
    November 15, 2017 / 8:28 am

    Would you be willing to post what you ate for your Vegan diet? I have been interested in doing that for some time but I don’t know how/where to start. Also, I have a very hungry “protein fanatic” husband. How did you balance cooking for the two of you?

    Thank you!!
    Kelsey

    • November 15, 2017 / 9:31 am

      Sure! I can tell you it was mostly rice, beans and veggies all combined into one dish meals! But Jimmy is a good cook, and using seasonings helps up the flavor!

      • Kelsey
        November 15, 2017 / 11:46 am

        Thank you!

  8. Jenny
    November 15, 2017 / 8:30 am

    I have been a reader of your blog for years and years (once upon a time I had a small blog too, and you even kindly guest posted once way back in the day). I’ve always found your discussions of diet and workout interesting, but I wasn’t very active or in shape. Flash forward five or so years, and I’m finally taking control. In July/August I started slowly incorporating exercise and really improving my eating habits. I’m down about 19 pounds, and feel encouraged and like I’m on a good path. Slow and steady, but even baby steps can get you a long way if you stick with them. Anyway the reason I’m commenting is just to say that you’ve been a super positive inspiration for me. Thank you for sharing all of this (and your husband, too!). And I think I just might order myself some new running shoes, these ones look awesome! Happy holidays!

    • November 15, 2017 / 9:30 am

      Jenny! You have done SO good! It’s really hard to lose weight! I’m super proud of you! Thank you so much for letting me hear about your journey! I think it will help other people too!

  9. November 15, 2017 / 8:37 am

    Great tips, and those Nike sneaks are adorable!

    • November 15, 2017 / 9:29 am

      A new pair of shoes always gets me motivated for the gym! 😉

  10. Katie
    November 15, 2017 / 11:40 am

    Great post! My husband is a meat eater – at every meal haha. He’s willing to do vegetarian but says that most veggie meals don’t fill him up. I would love to hear any recipes that your husband likes for lunches and dinners!

    • November 15, 2017 / 6:23 pm

      No one was more surprised than me to hear he was giving up meat! I’ll share some recipes soon!

  11. Susanna
    November 15, 2017 / 1:37 pm

    Love this post! Props to hubby for loosing weight! You both inspire!

    My hubby has lost weight too but mostly from doing protein shakes and Atkins. My 19 year old daughter is vegan since two years and she feels great. I try to eat more vegan myself overall for my health but have not made the switch 100%.

    • November 15, 2017 / 6:22 pm

      Thanks Susanna! It was a big change, but he feels a lot better this way!

  12. R. Firestone
    November 15, 2017 / 4:18 pm

    Your husband is such a great writer! I really enjoy his “guest” posts!

    • November 15, 2017 / 6:21 pm

      Thanks so much! I know he appreciates that!

  13. Donna
    November 15, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    I am a new reader and agree your husbands posts are GREAT. Normally I do not comment on the blogs I follow and the husband posts aren’t as entertaining as your husband is. Looking forward to continuing being a faithful blog reader. I am very petite so I truly appreciate your fashion and style.

    • November 15, 2017 / 6:58 pm

      That’s a huge compliment Donna! I really appreciate it and I’m thankful that he agrees to post here once in awhile! Your compliments might keep him coming back!

  14. Carrie
    November 15, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    What a great post! My husband will love reading this. We enjoy vegan meals (he does especially!) but certainly aren’t militant about it. I would love to do more vegan cooking but the kids tend to ask ‘why is all that stuff mushed together???’ and cooking separate meals is a lot of work!

    Check out the Oh She Glows cookbooks. They’re my favourites for vegan cooking.

    • November 16, 2017 / 9:25 am

      I know, Jordan eats what we eat, but we have to make James something separate! I need to revisit that cookbook- always looking for new ideas!

  15. Susan T
    November 16, 2017 / 5:19 am

    OMG, YOU LOOK AMAZING! I didn’t think you needed to loose any weight. We are about the same height. I am about 30 pounds overweight. Seeing you and reading your blog is so inspiring. Keep up the good work.

    • November 16, 2017 / 9:23 am

      Thank you so much Susan! I know we feel better when we try to keep in shape! I haven’t been working out as much as I like, so I need to get back to it!

  16. Susie
    November 16, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    Love the “Are you some kind of communist?” Your husband is a riot! Happy that he is feeling better. Now both of you are an inspiration to a healthy lifestyle.

  17. JEanne
    November 16, 2017 / 1:18 pm

    Would love to hear more about yours husbands journey and vegan recipes! Did he reference any books ?

    • November 16, 2017 / 1:51 pm

      Hi Jeanne, no books, but I’ll post some recipes soon!

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