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Tips for Surviving The Holidays

Tis the Season to gain weight, stress out and be depressed. No, I’m not being cynical, check out this chart...

Credit: The New England Journal of Medicine © 2016


This image shows how people’s average weights in three countries — Japan, the United States and Germany — changed over a one-year period. We experience the largest spike in weight gain from Thanksgiving to New Years. Shocker…


Holiday weight gain isn’t a myth, it’s a problem caused by overeating, stress, lack of sleep and depression. Many weight-loss programs fail during the Holidays for 5 main reasons:

  1. Expensive $$$$ – By the time the Holidays roll around we are no longer thinking about spending money on ourselves, we shift our focus to our family and friends. We don’t have an extra $40 – $65 a day lying around for weight-loss and exercise programs.

  2. Complicated/Stressful – Spending a whole day/week cooking dozens of mini meals, counting calories and reading labels at grocery stores and restaurants is not time effective, especially around the busy Holiday Season! Following a complex meal/diet plan can cause more stress in an already stressful time!

  3. Quick Fix – Gimmick/Scam – There are no quick fixes or magic pills. The ONLY thing that is proven to WORK is finding out what works for you and sticking with it.

  4. Painful/Hard – Holiday food is not typically healthy. It’s full of carbs, sugar and processed ingredients. But it’s not easy turning down a slice of my favorite pie, or an extra helping of stuffing. Many people simply starve themselves, or gorge on some days, then fast for the rest of the week. This causes our bodies to go crazy! Our metabolism works over-time, then shuts down.

  5. Too Broad/General – NOT Focused on What YOU Need – Every BODY is different. We all need a custom plan that works for us. Most diets are designed with a general person in mind… but men, women, young, middle-aged, older, sick, healthy, happy, depressed, etc. cannot be combined into a “One Size Fits ALL” program!

So the food is not healthy, we are over-eating and starving ourselves, and we are stressed and depressed… No problem! But wait. How does stress and depression make me gain weight? According to the Mayo Clinic, and confirmed by hundreds of people in my studies – Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. … Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.


People also eat as a coping mechanism during times of stress or sadness. If you’re an emotional eater, it’s important to address the underlying emotions that fuel compulsive eating. There is also a component of addiction. Many people have said that it’s harder to give up sugary sweets than it is to quit smoking.


So what do we do?

MAKE SMALL HINGE CHANGES - follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Gather your data. Take the Food Inflammation Test to cut out the guesswork and get straight to one of the ROOT causes of inflammation, bloat, weight-gain and more!

  2. Set up time for EXPERT review of your data to make your SMALL HINGES plan.

  3. Address the STRESS. Stress = Inflammation. Holidays = Stress. You get the point!

  4. Accountability. You don't have to do it alone, nor should you. Most people fail at implementing health plans without a COACH or COMMUNITY to support them!

You can also follow these 5 EASY TIPS from @smallhinges -

  1. Hydrate – a lot of weight-gain can be attributed to drinking too much alcohol and not enough water. So when you are sipping a nice Cabernet, spiked cider or a Moscow Mule, make sure you double your water intake to help flush the dehydrating toxins and sugars out of your system!

  2. Breathe & Move – many of us sit on the couch watching TV because we are too full to move after a big meal. Get outside, breathe fresh air, go for a walk around your block – or if you live in a city – walk up the subway stairs instead of riding the escalator. Dance at Holiday parties. When you are eating more, you need to breathe and move more to get your metabolism going!

  3. RELAX – try not to over-commit. Say “no” to parties, volunteer work, and anything else that may stress you out. Make a commitment to YOURSELF to enjoy the Holidays. Let someone else cook – host a pot-luck party – hire a caterer.

  4. Sleep – go to sleep at least 4 hours after you eat, and try to sleep for at least 8 hours. For a healthy immune system, you need at least 8 hours of restful sleep – AND – you need to give your body at least 4 hours to process dinner. After you eat try to drink only water to help flush out your system.

  5. “Strategery” – if you can, try to eat carbs & animal protein in the morning or afternoon, and save the salads, roasted veggies, and fish for dinner. This will help kick start your metabolism in the morning, and have it burning fat all day long.

Happy Holidays to you! May this joyous season be the happiest & healthiest season of all!


Love & yum,

Lindsay O’Neill

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