How to Lose Weight Mindfully and Quickly During the Holidays

I'm not a fan of the word diet. I encourage people to flip the letters and instead, use the word edit. Edit your food choices. 

It’s all about knowing what to choose and what to lose. Choose healthy, real foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, those with fewer (or no) ingredients, and reduce the amount of high-fat and processed foods you consume. 

For people who want to lose weight, a one to two pound weight loss a week is considered healthy. 

But I'm also realistic and know that sometimes people want to shed a handful of pounds quickly—especially during the holidays, with a social calendar filling up!

If you want to drop several pounds in just a few weeks, you can make choices to increase your weight loss and look your best.

Remember it’s an equation of calories in and calories out. We need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. AND yes, THIS IS BIT OVER SIMPLIFIED SINCE HOROMONES AND OTHER THINGS COME IN TO PLAY BUT GENERALLY…

1. Know how much you're consuming each day.

To lose just one pound, you have to create a 3,500 calorie deficit. Although calorie needs vary according to height, current weight, and amount of physical activity, most people can lose weight by reducing their daily caloric intake to 1,500 to 1,600 calories and incorporating exercise. If you really want to take it up a notch, get precise about your portions by using measuring cups and write down your calorie consumption each day.

2. Mix it up. 

In order to maximize your results, try changing up your normal workout in duration, intensity or simply in choice of workout. If you normally walk, try jogging. If you're an avid runner, add some short sprints into your run. This is a great time to try a Zumba class or spinning. Surprising your body often leads to results. If you want to drop as much as a dress size in just a couple of weeks, you may want to double up on workouts each day. Try for two hours a day instead of one for that two-week period.

3. Hydrate. 

Follow the double eights rule for water consumption. Drink eight, eight ounce glasses of water each day. Some people mistakenly think that drinking too much water will make them gain weight and feel bloated, but the reverse is actually true. Water flushes toxins out your system and aids in digestion. Drinking more will also improve the look of your skin.

4. Read labels for salt. 

Too much salt in your diet can make your body retain water. If you want to look your best in a short period of time, read labels and eliminate food high in sodium. By reducing the amount of processed foods you consume, you will naturally reduce your sodium intake. Keep in mind that many foods and condiments you wouldn’t expect have high levels of salt, so pay attention to labels. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day on a regular basis. If you are 51 or older or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, you should have less than 1,500 mg a day on a regular basis. Both are upper limits, so jst remember less is best, especially if you want to reduce weight more quickly than usual.


Although I'm a big proponent of daily consistency in your choices for your health, there is one benefit to increasing your effort in a short span of time. After two weeks, you'll see changes in your body and seeing results can be a huge motivation to stick to a healthy lifestyle for the long haul.

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About the Author

Chris Freytag is a nationally recognized fitness expert, public speaker, contributing editor to Prevention magazine and an author. Her latest books are Get Started with Weight Loss, and Get Started with Clean Eating (and a vegetarian version). Chris also has a healthy cookbook titled, CHOOSE THIS! Chris shares her tips weekly on the Minneapolis NBC affiliate and has appeared on the Today Showand Lifetime TV. She has dozens of workout DVDs; the latest is her ACE HIIT series. Chris is passionate about helping people live healthier lives, and works with adults, kids, and athletes, as well as several nonprofit organizations helping youth get active. Live life from a positive place and Love Your Body!

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