How To Stop Weight Gain During The Holiday Season… And for Life

If you’ve ever wondered how to stop weight gain during the holiday season, you’re in for a treat. And even a delicious dessert as you’ll soon see.

Watch (or read) Barbara McDermott’s seminar below and discover why weight loss and enjoying the holidays now go together like Santa and cookies.

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Here’s What You Will Learn About “How To Stop Weight Gain During The Holiday Season… And For Life”:

Read The Video Class Transcript Below: “How To Stop Weight Gain During The Holiday Season… And For Life”

Hello, this is Charlie McDermott. I have the honor of presenting my wonderful wife, Barbara, who is going to share 5 simple strategies for holiday thriving. Yes, not surviving but thriving. 

So, let’s get Barb on here. Sit back, enjoy, and get your pen and notebook ready cause she’s got a lot to cover!

Welcome everyone. Again, this is Barb McDermott with SHIFT Formula and I’ve put together a holiday guide for anyone out there who might be what I had been. And that was a person who really struggled with food, struggled with holidays, and social gatherings. 

The Problem With Food

Food was a big problem in our lives for different reasons that I’m not going to go into it right now. However, I have a daughter, now an adult daughter, who went through a period of consistent weight gain, cravings, and incessant thoughts of food. 

She really struggled with food and developed but never actually diagnosed with what I would call mild to moderate depression. All due her inability to control food. 

Food controlled her. She was wearing it in the form of steady weight gain and it was always talking to her, urging her to always be eating. 

This is exactly what SHIFT Formula solves. SHIFT Formula solves really big problems, using systematic steps which generate predictable outcomes. 

SHIFT Formula is the streamlined solution we discovered that solved not only my daughter’s weight struggles but silenced those food demons and restored her enthusiasm for life.

The Problem With The ‘Healthy’ Directions

We know that oftentimes following the directives and guidelines of nutritional communities, dietitians, medical experts, fitness trainers, coaches, they lead us in circles. Right? 

How many of us have eaten healthier than ever but have a larger waistline than ever? 

How many of us have exercised more and more only to find that we’re exhausted and no slimmer for all the effort?

Weight Loss Lessons From 5th Graders

And ask any fifth grader, “What is the fastest way to lose weight?” All the hands in the classroom would fly up in the air. “Stop eating.” 

And we can certainly agree with the logic. If a person would just stop eating they’d lose weight. 

Yes? But that’s not easy, is it? To stop eating. 

Have any of you been on the receiving ends of comments such as, “Just push yourself away from the table.” “Good gosh, put your fork down.” Or, “Just keep your hands busy and don’t think about it.” 

These are some of the directives a few of my clients have shared with me that they’d been subjected to. Obviously, their nutritionist didn’t understand cravings. Nor did they understand the power of insulin.

Food Has But Two Effects… Body Fat Accumulating or Body Fat Releasing

Most of us have no idea the impact specific foods have on our body’s ability to either be accumulating body fat and driving cravings, or releasing stored body fat and forgetting to eat.

How To Stop Weight Gain Seminar Topics

How To Stop Weight Gain Seminar Topics

What you’re going to learn in this seminar and in the ‘Holidaze Weight Loss Guide‘ I put together for you are 5 Weight Loss Strategies I teach my members and private coaching clients.

these Holiday strategies I define as Bookending, Window, Tracking over, stacking, Sweeping, and my personal favorite, SHIFTing which really encompasses all of the above..

The concept of shifting may be vague to you right now, but trust me by the end you’ll have a clearer grasp on it. Okay. Now before we go forward, just remember if you’ve registered for this and thank you for doing so, you’re going to receive from me the downloadable guide. If you have any questions, please put them in the chat box. Just know I will answer questions at the end.

The 5 Weight Loss Strategies…

The concept of SHIFTing may be vague to you right now, but trust me by the end you’ll have a clearer grasp on it. 

Okay. Now before we go forward, just remember to download the Free Guide I’ve put together for this seminar. This way you can take notes and gain access to a couple of my “Go To” holiday recipes.

Healthy Holiday Eating

Suffocating From Constant Cravings, Weight Gain & Fading Health

Recently, one of our Shift Insider’s, Claire, shared this, “When you’re struggling with weight, cravings and health hardship, the holidays are hard. You wish you could enjoy the buffet like everyone else, but it’s different for you.” 

This captures exactly what my daughter was going through. 

How about you? 

Suffocating from the constant struggle? 

Weight struggle and constant cravings are bad enough. But what about the health hardships Clare spoke about? What did she mean? We’re talking diabetes, pre-diabetes, type three diabetes a.k.a., Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, other forms of chronic pain, and cancer.

Here’s Why You Are At a Disadvantage

Anyone in any degree of any of those just listed tend to have stronger cravings than what healthy folk experience. Ever notice people with damn diabetes have insane cravings? It’s real.

I recall one holiday season someone commented that their father-in-law, about 10 years with Type 2 Diabetes and recently diagnosed with cancer, wouldn’t stop eating “Junk food”. 

Would not? 

I say he ‘could’ not. 

Cancer DEMANDS sugar. Diabetes is uncontrolled sugar. Cravings? Yea. His being controlled by food was no reflection on character. It was his chemistry.

The Art of SHIFTing

The Art Of SHIFTing

Okay, let’s move forward. 

So, SHIFTing really is knowing food’s impact on our body’s craving and fat accumulation mechanisms. 

We SHIFT How We Eat And Voila! We Forget To Eat. 

Trust me it’s a thing. But the art of shifting is really a combination of science and action. You know, art is like that. You learn some basic principles, right? And then act on those fundamentals to create your masterpiece. 

It’s the same thing with SHIFTing

Food is overwhelming. It’s a the perfect example of the paradox of choice. The more choice, the more overwhelm. The more unclear the options, the more overwhelm multiples. Decision fatigue? Yea.

When was the last time you went for hours….I’m talking five, six, seven hours without being offered food, encouraged to join in food frenzy or having food ‘talking’ to you. 

“Knock, knock, come on over to the pantry, girl, I’ve got something for you.” 


And then we’re also so confused and overwhelmed. At least I was when I was trying to solve my daughter’s health challenge. 

All these directives to eat more often, eat organic, or just get off processed foods. As if that alone was going to solve her problem. It didn’t. 

But all that organic panic and whole foods mantra did contribute more shame and blame to her life. 

The psychological load accumulates when we put all these actions into play because they still don’t resolve our problem. 

So, what do we do? 

We start blaming ourself. That happens, right?

The Food Vice On Our Brain

Why does food have such a tenacious grip on us? 

Food and love are close cousins in that they impact our brain the same way. 

We’ve all heard of dopamine and endorphins. 

We can gossip with our neighbors, have a chocolate chip cookie, or fall in love. Any of these stimulate the very same brain neurotransmitter response. 

So the holidays, good grief, Charlie Brown, right? All we need is some music. The scent of an evergreen. The smile of a loved one. The buffet of tradition dishes. And we are utterly defenseless from the food callings associated with those stimuli.

Certainly, love and food are wonderful aspects of being human. Yes. But if we’re carrying baggage, emotional, sure but also physical baggage; body fat, bloat, chronic disease, neuropathy, fatty liver disease, forgetting where our car keys are, etc…

I know that that dinner table moment is going to be plagued with a lot of decisions, a lot of mental tug of war. 

Should I? 

I shouldn’t. I will. I won’t. 

And then all the buffering, and denial, and resolutions and bartering. Crikes! 

Food Is Fuel… Nothing More

In SHIFT we leave all that to the side and we look at food for what it is. Fuel. 

The love fest is fuel. Yes. Made with love. 

But. Still just fuel. 

The greatest act of love doing the holidays, in my book, is to forgo the problematic food WITH someone who is compromised. Or, better yet, recreate those family dishes so they serve rather than sabotage. 

When you untangle the emotion from the basic science and know which foods trigger which pathways you, friend, are back in the driver’s seat. 

You’ll experience that illuminating and empowering Ah Ha moment that each SHIFT Insider has experienced. “That’s why I’m craving!” “That’s why I’m accumulating body fat!” “That’s why my body hurts!” 

SHIFTing Really Comes Down To Getting You Back To Your Place Of Power

Power is the difference between thinking and knowing. Thinking may drive action. But, knowing is right action. 

And only right action delivers you to your desired outcom

SHIFT Is Not a Diet

Why SHIFTing Isn’t About Nutrition

When you see the nutrition programs out there, you’re taught about all the phytonutrients, the minerals and vitamins. You learn how to chase the rainbow. Eat nutrient dense. 

SHIFT is not about that. It’s in no way a diet. 

You know a diet is something you go on, you’re miserable on… that you go off and become even more miserable. We’re not a diet. We’re not a supplement company.

We sell no powders or pills or potions and we don’t endorse any specific food philosophy. 

It’s not like if you eat just green colored foods, you’re going to be good. Or if you just get rid of the white colored foods, you’re going to be good. Or if you just get off the processed foods or the animal foods or the plant based foods.

SHIFT is none of that. SHIFT is community. 

If you look at the above image with the building blocks in the right hand corner, you see a microscope, a light bulb, an artist’s palette, a trophy, you see a puzzle piece, you see a target, the clock, the book and look at what you see at the top. Graduation. 

You will graduate. Because once you know, you know. And once you solve your big problem, your life is on “Go” again.

Making The Rest Of Your Life The Best Of Your Life

Do you know right now whether the rest of your life is going to be the best of your life? 

Seven years ago for me the answer was, “no way”

My life was so emotionally charged. I easily recall how heavy that Thanksgiving had been for my daughter. Weight gain, cravings, controlling food was a big problem. 

And then what do you do? 

You fake it to fit in with the family and you fake it to go along with the friends. But inside you’re so alone. Right? 

None of that has to be any more.

Big Health Problems Solved With Systematic Steps

SHIFT solves big problems using systematic steps that are not emotionally driven at all. 

And the predictable outcome means graduation day is in your future. Yeah, cause once you know, as one of our SHIFT insiders, Steph, always says, you can’t un-know. 

Once you know it you can’t un-know it. And that’s the power.

"Once you know it you can't un-know it. And that's the power."

SHIFT Formula Overview

So, the brief history here is that this discovery of SHIFT is nothing more than wisdom born from pain. When weight gain, and depression and unrelenting food cravings and being controlled by food is your daily life or is the life of someone you love, you will go through endless trial and error.

You will try every nutritional directive, pH, juicing, wheatgrass shots, every green powder, every food philosophy. 

You will apply morality, you will use mindfulness, you will seek out Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, you will use everyone in the kingdom who is teaching you how to do it. 

And it won’t work until…..bingo, it does. But it requires going beyond the biases and belief systems that are so ingrained in our psyche, such as all the nutritional and morality based mantras.

It’s a good food. 

It’s a bad food. 

It’s a right food. 

It’s a wrong food. 

Good grief! Talk about tribal wars.

Knowing How To Stop Weight Gain Comes Down To This One Thing

But here’s the thing. When you choose your foods solely by their influence on your body’s fat storing hormone, insulin, you own the powerful system. And it’s a system with predictable outcome every single time.

The 1st predictable Outcome – Food Cravings Stop 

For my daughter this happened within minutes. Food thoughts, thoughts of food dissolve. 

One of my newer private coaching clients is a food counselor for those who struggle with eating disorders. She can’t believe that in less than a week, she’s gone for hours in a day, not thinking about food. Her food thoughts dissolve. 

The 2nd Predictable Outcome – Brain Energized 

Talk about having brain energy freedom. Your brain is like a bank account. Instead of withdrawing from its limited, daily energy supply, draining the account, you’re making a big deposit. Energy surplus! Today, your brain bank will not be overdrawn. 

There’s plenty of resource to spare and apply to far more important things. 

The 3rd Predictable Outcome – Pain & Appetite Dissolve | Physical Energy Increases

Yes, appetite, pain and inflammation immediately start to dissolve. We get an energy uptick. Physical energy along with the mental energy we just discussed. Yes, brain productivity and mental focus magnifies. 

The 4th Predictable Outcome – Weight Loss / Waist Loss

Next predictable outcome is that waistline whittles. Yep. You’re going to go down a couple of notches on the belt. The pants without an elastic waistband are not going to be uncomfortable anymore. 


The 5th Predictable Outcome – Mood Enhanced / Feeling Happier

And perhaps one of the most powerful outcomes, is that emotions steady. We are even-keeled and calm.

SHIFT Formula Weight Loss Misconceptions

SHIFTing Weight Loss Misconceptions

Yes, knowing how to stop weight gain goes way beyond just weight loss. Way, way beyond!

So, what keep us from SHIFTing?

These are some of the misconceptions about Shifting. 

It’s going to be expensive. Shifting saves money. Shift Insiders are thrifty and smart. They save money at the grocery store all the time and enjoy new found extra money from all the medications they no longer need to purchase. It’s going to be difficult. Nutritional chasing? That’s difficult. Carrying excess weight. That’s difficult. . Pain, depression? Difficult. Following streamlined, systematic steps with predictable outcomes. Not only not difficult, but exciting!

  • #1 - Expensive

    It's going to be expensive. SHIFTing saves money. SHIFT Insiders are thrifty and smart. They save money at the grocery store because, when you just aren't hungry most of the day, you don't need all those expensive groceries. and they enjoy new found extra money from all the medications they no longer need to purchase.

  • #2 - Difficult

    It’s going to be difficult. Nutritional chasing? That's difficult. Carrying excess weight? That’s difficult. Pain, depression? Difficult. Following streamlined, systematic steps with predictable outcomes. Not only not difficult, but exciting!

  • #3 - Time Consuming

    It’s going to be difficult. Nutritional chasing? That's difficult. Carrying excess weight? That’s difficult. Pain, depression? Difficult. Following streamlined, systematic steps with predictable outcomes. Not only not difficult, but exciting!

  • #4 - Limiting

    It's going to be limiting. It's not. It's limitless. It opens your eyes and your menu to expand your food repertoire in ways you had thought were off limits. Illegal. Yeah, we're a bit bad ass as the way you shift your eating makes most nutritionists cry and doctors sigh. Then they scratch their head and tell you to keep doing what you’re doing because they can't deny the fact that you are slimmer, saner, and stronger than ever (plus, obviously smarter). They know you’re doing the opposite of what they told you to do.

Weight Loss Lifestyle Change

The Harsh Reality of Food & Our Health

Here is the simplified reality.

90% of our population today struggles with food and food related health or well-being. 

Are you in this percentage? I sure had been. I was in the 90% struggling with thinking about food, thinking about the right way to do food, and always thinking about how I can possibly handle my health crisis. 

And all the nutritional directives, that are as wide and expansive as there are people, just made my life more and more confusing. 

But there’s a 10% crowd. And I hang with them daily. 

Shift Insiders don’t struggle. They sail with knowing. It is a choice. Think and struggle or know and sail.

Seasonal Weight Gain

Seasonal Weight Gain

The above graphic represents the dreaded, but virtually guaranteed seasonal weight gain. 

This is not new news. You already intuitively know this. 

Halloween straight through the holiday season until the first day of the new year is the six to eight-week period of the whole year when the majority of weight gain happens. 

But then January, February, March, you make that new year resolution effort and, yeah we can pull some of that weight back off. But rarely do we ever get all of it off. 

So, repeat this year after year and that’s how that subtle, insidious weight gain creeps up on us. 

But by knowing how to stop weight gain during the holiday season gives you a decided advantage. This is why we’ve put this seminar and guide together.

SHIFT Weight Loss Strategies

Basic Principles of Weight Loss By SHIFTing

It’s critical we address a few basic principles before we go deeper into my how to stop weight gain concepts. 

These basic principles may give you that moment of “Huh, I never looked at it this way.” That’s because we’re not looking at foods through the lens of right/wrong or morality or color or nutrient density or their being locally sourced or cruelty-free, etc. 

The misleading statement, “It’s all good” does not apply here. 

We’re looking at the basic principles of food and body weight. Principles of metabolism and the endocrine system. Hormones and the basics of burning fat or burning sugar. 

Let’s face it, if we’re carrying an expanded waistline, we have not been able to burn body fat for many years. 

That’s the struggle. 

Insulin – The Fat Regulation Boss

So on the far left of the image above, is the fat regulation boss. Insulin. 

When insulin levels are elevated, you could be exercising your heart out and not burn body fat. You’d be burning sugar instead. 

The fat around your belly would be trapped. You are unable to tap into it. 

Weight gain happens during periods of elevated insulin. And weight is unable to be lost during periods of elevated insulin. 

Has Your Insulin Been Elevated? 

Some of you may know insulin as the blood sugar lowering hormone. It is called this because yes, insulin opens all the cells of the body, which allows the sugar from the blood to go into the cells to be used for fuel. 

But here’s the thing. Insulin makes sure the sugar in the blood gets handled first. And it’s only when insulin levels drop again that we can even access fat instead of sugar for fuel.

Every one of us has insulin circulating in our body, all the time. But if there’s more insulin than is optimal, we are going to be stuck in weight gain mode. 

Blood Sugar – Stimulates Insulin Release

What determines the volume of insulin is our volume of blood sugar. It’s blood sugar that stimulates that insulin.

And blood sugar is the direct result of eating. 

Digested foods break down to basic components. Most of the foods that we eat, their basic components are glucose, which is sugar. So these foods become blood sugar or blood glucose. 

We have to be more aware that when we look at the buffet we see blood sugar. We may have heard people say things like, “That food impacts my blood sugar” or “This food won’t impact my blood sugar” or “That food raises my blood sugar” or “That food really spikes my blood sugar.” 

There are all kinds of ways to talk about blood sugar.

Well in our shift community, we say, “Those foods ARE blood sugar.” They’re just sugar on the table, but once they’re in my body, they’re sugar in my blood, right? 

It’s not one thing impacts another thing. It actually is THE thing. 

Food Is Sugar

Not all food, but most of the foods we’re encouraged to eat, are sugar. Blood sugar drives every person’s health, not just the unfortunates who know it does. 

In fact, if you ever get push back from someone who is struggling with an expanding waistline but holds up the hand with, “Well, I don’t have a blood sugar problem”, you can gently reply, “I see. That’s because you’re wearing it.” 

The sugar is not a problem in their bloodstream. The “problem” is being shuttled to their waistline. Blood sugar converts to belly fat.

Carbohydrate Is Blood Sugar

The next important piece of the puzzle is carbohydrate. All foods are either carbohydrate or protein or fat or a combination of those three or two. 

Looking at food objectively, we ask the question, “Is it a carbohydrate? Is it a protein? Is it a fat?” 

Why ask that question? 

Because one of the three categories IS exclusively blood sugar. It offers neither fortification nor building and repair raw material. It offers only fuel in the form of glucose. 

The answer? Carbohydrate. 

Any carbohydrate, colorful carbohydrate, good carbohydrate, bad carbohydrate, nutrient-rich carbohydrate, organic carbohydrate, complex carbohydrate, made with love carbohydrate is sugar. 

Again…. Carbohydrate is blood sugar. 

Blood sugar stimulates insulin. Every carbohydrate food is a glucose food. That doesn’t mean we shun or restrict carbohydrate foods. We eat carbohydrate foods. We just know how to eat carbohydrate foods to keep insulin low so that body fat burning can be a “GO.”

Every carbohydrate food is a glucose food. That doesn't mean we shun or restrict carbohydrate foods. We eat carbohydrate foods. We just know how to eat carbohydrate foods to keep insulin low so that body fat burning can be a “GO.”

Fat Does Not Stimulate Insulin Or Raise Blood Sugar

The final puzzle piece is the one with the bad reputation, fat. 

Here’s the thing. Fat doesn’t contribute any sugar to our bloodstream. And fat does not stimulate insulin. Fat doesn’t stimulate the fat storage hormone. Carbohydrate does.

That was a game changer for me and my family and, especially, my daughter. 

Screech! Brakes. Wait a minute. “Hold the fat-free, date-sweetened muffin and organic gluten-free, vegan pizza!”

We’re being told to lose weight. But we’re being told to lose weight by eating more of the very foods that make it really hard to lose weight because the foods actually contribute more sugar to our bloodstream which stimulates the weight gain hormone? 

Peace, Calm & Life Balance Restored

Yea. That’s the crazy you’ve been up against.

SHIFT from carbohydrate lopsided to what can be considered fat lopsided. 

But I’ll tell you when you get fat lopsided, and when I say fat lopsided, I mean dietary fat lopsided, that’s when you experience peace. Peace from cravings. Peace from always being hungry.

 Not only will you forget to eat, but as my Shift Insiders share, virtually everything else in your life goes right. We are not irritated. We are not angry. We are not frustrated. We are not tired. We are not raging and then crashing anymore.

Life changes for the better when we feel better. I hear it all the time… “We have peace in our family again”, “SHIFT saved our marriage. We’re not fighting with one another anymore.” 

Because here’s the thing, when we’re in those hangry modes and that’s a real thing, we are not at peace. To be manipulated and impacted by food, both physically and mentally is a prison. 

We all know the concept that peace begins within us. We must be at peace with ourselves in order to experience peace in life. Blood sugar and insulin are your internal peacemakers. When these are out of control you have no peace. None.

Does Diabetes Make Us Mean?

We could have long, deep philosophical discussion about conflict in the world today. When I see irritated, angry people I see diabetes. And I say that with heartfelt respect and empathy because all of us have a degree of diabetes but we don’t know it. 

Diabetes impacts every body. Every size, shape and age. Slim people. Whole food eating people. Exercising people. Diabetes is not just a diagnosed threshold of blood sugar values. 

Sure, diabetes is the condition when the sugar in the blood accumulates to high levels. But, “non-diabetic” blood sugar is the culprit behind debilitating neuropathy, chronic joint pain, fibromyalgia, degenerating brain conditions, Alzheimer’s or Type 3 Diabetes. 

Blood sugar corrodes delicate blood vessels and nerves. Heart Disease and cancer are both supported by blood sugar and insulin. 

They are all carbohydrate driven diseases.

SHIFT Formula Weight Loss System That Works

Powerful How To Stop Weight Gain During The Holidays Tactics

We’re going to look at some tactics for navigating the holidays without being further compromised by them. But it’s really important to me that you know that what I’m recommending to you, you should be able to implement easily. Pleasantly. 

If any of these tactics sound hard to you, get involved in SHIFT. It’s time you owned your power.

Why Not Try ‘Not Eating’?

If someone had recommended to me years ago that I not eat, I’d have rolled my eyes.

You may be thinking, “Wait a minute. You want me to not eat?”

Yeah, because you’re going to forget to eat. 

So right now, whether you are SHIFTing with me already, cause I know some of you are, or this sounds like some other planet. 

Imagine Not Being Hungry Most Of The Day

Allow yourself to imagine that you’re just not hungry more and more often. Imagine walking past the office break room, completely unaffected by the sights, scents and sounds of co-workers mingling in today’s eats and treats. Everyone’s eating something. But you, “I’m just not hungry.” 

We’re not talking about willpower, white knuckling, or pretending we’re not hungry. 

You are literally not hungry, not interested, not tempted, not cravings any of it. You are forgetting to eat more and more often. And you’re loving it because you’re feeling great and losing weight.

Of course you should expect some good-natured and not so good-natured gossip with a side of jealousy. Who wouldn’t be jealous? I would! Who doesn’t want to be able to pleasantly pass on the damn buffet?

Not hungry. That’s where I’m standing before you. And sharing the following slides. Every concept going forward regarding intermittent fasting stands on the legs of pleasantly not being hungry.

3 Ways To Intermittent Fast and Lose Weight

3 Ways How To Make Intermittent Fasting Easy During The Holidays

You’ve heard about intermittent fasting. 

Lot of people are implementing fasting. It is quite elementary, right? If we can just not eat, our health should resolve pretty quickly. 

Intermittent fasting is an excellent holiday weight loss strategy because when we create space between our feedings something wonderful happens.

Insulin levels drop.

Only when insulin levels drop, are you not in fat accumulation mode.

Intermittent Fasting Spacing Meals For Weight Loss & Health Gain

The Power Of Spacing Meals To Lose Weight

I need me some elbow room. A little bit of space between meals goes a long way. 

This used to happen to us naturally when we were children. We had periods of time between feedings when we weren’t even thinking about food. We were excellent body fat burners and so had near limitless energy for playing. 

That’s something we recapture with SHIFTing. And the ability to push the hour distance between meals is powerful. During that time when not eating, your body is able to tap in and utilize body fat for your energy needs because insulin levels drop down.

When we eat and eat and eat, grazing, we unknowingly ensure that we remain in an insulin dominant state. 

Your body has very little opportunity to dine in, as we call it. Your body gets no opportunity to burn body fuel, body fat. You are going to be in body fat accumulation mode the entire day simply by not spacing out your feedings. So, putting hours between feedings is a power move.

Intermittent Fasting Eating Window

The Eating Window

Then there’s the Eating Window concept. The kitchen open/closed method. 

This is really popular. Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston say they do it. 

The eating window method goes like this…

A block of time is established as the “eating window”. This is usually a 6 – 12 hour window.

When the time window is open you eat. When the time window is closed, you don’t eat. You set your own personal time restricted eating periods. 

Our Natural Eating Window

Now, you should know, you are marvelously made. You already have built in eating windows. You have built in fasting all the time. It’s when we’re sleeping,

When we’re sleeping, we’re not eating.

We don’t even know we’re not eating, right? 

Think about the natural cycle of the 24 hour day in terms of daytime and nighttime. Before electricity, fasting happened a lot more often. Now unfortunately, we can work late into the night and early morning hours. And many times we’re grazing in the very hours we’re designed to be fasting.

How To Take Advantage Of Your Natural Fasting Window

We can take advantage of an advantage, especially when we get to bed at a reasonable hour. 

When you wake up in the morning, you can extend that nighttime sleeping fast by not eating so soon. 

Breakfast does not have to be eaten as soon as we wake up. It’s called breaking the fast for a reason. You are free to break the fast any time you choose. Many of our SHIFT Insiders break their fast late morning or early afternoon. Usually one o’clock in the afternoon or later. And these are individuals in high energy jobs with demanding schedules. We have teachers, nurses, lawyers and doctors as clients all taking advantage of their natural fasting window to improve their productivity and health.

They’re just not hungry first thing, because they have re-adapted their body to running on body fat. So they break their fast when hunger calls… later in their day. 

The Easy 12-Hour Intermittent Fast

One of the simplest concept is to pay attention to when you close the kitchen in the evening. Say you had your last food for the day at eight o’clock. You would wait until eight o’clock the next morning to have your first feeding of the new day. That gives you a 12-hour fasting window.

Pushing back your first feeding extends your nighttime fast. 

Some people restrict their eating to between noon and six o’clock at night. That’s an example of a six hour eating window. 

You know, we can all make up our own rules. But the true power is in understanding why fasting works. 

What’s happening in those 18 hours of fasting? What’s happening in those natural sleep fast windows? 

It’s always the same answer. Insulin levels drop because we’re not eating, we’re not contributing to fueling our body. We’re not contributing to blood sugar. So when insulin levels are low, body fat burning is a go. We are enabled to use the body fat we’re carrying when insulin is low. 

And that can happen when we’re sleeping.

Easy Weight Loss Eating Plan

Bookending – The Best Strategy For Thanksgiving, Other Big Eating Holidays & Events 

This “How to stop weight gain during the holidays” strategy is what many of our SHIFT Insiders will use during Thanksgiving week. 

In fact, we’re just coming off of an extended intermittent fasting week. I’m recording this on Thursday evening. This is day four for us, and we as a community Fast together. 

It’s Time We All Dine In!

Today, day four we talk about raising our score. We all know we’re dining in. 

What does dining in mean? 

It means we’re operating on body fat. Our body is using its own body fat for fuel.

We give ourselves and each other high fives not just because we’re in weight loss mode. That’s cool because we feel better when we’re slimmer. However, it’s more so because of the powerful autophagy that happens… 

The cell renewal, the anti aging, the anti-cancer action. Human growth hormone is elevated. You even get an adrenaline kick when we’re fasting. That’s why we have a lot of energy. 

So, next week is Thanksgiving, at least for us in the United States, so we plan to bookend our feasting with fasting.

How To Get The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting While Eating

I have to chuckle because we SHIFT Insiders, we wink to each other because we don’t necessarily not eat when we’re fasting. 

You can mimic fasting but still be eating. 

You just eat foods that don’t elevate insulin. That’s the biochemical marker that determines fasting. Spiritual, religious and personal trainer fasting will have you restricting calories. 

SHIFT Intermittent Fasting has you using fat strategically to keep insulin low.

SHIFTing restores us to enjoying the feats. Thanksgiving, feasting day, “yes please, pass the side dishes. Thank you.” But on Wednesday and Friday we’re going to go right back to our SHIFTed fasting actions. Eating shifted foods that keep our insulin levels down low and our body fat burning continues to be a go. 

Book ending a holiday or events where food takes center stage, is a great idea. 

However you choose to fast, bookending the big food day with two fasting days will keep you out of holiday weight gain. 

If you know you have a social gathering coming up, implement a fast before and depending upon your feast, implement a fast the day following. It takes a lot of emotional baggage, psychological distress off your plate. We should be able to enjoy community, family, friends, AND the buffet. 

Just knowing you have an action plan on both ends is like a having a built-in insurance policy.

Best Weight Loss Strategies

Avoid STACKING And Stop Weight Gain… For Life

Then there’s this concept of Stacking. This is what many of us, myself, my daughter, my clients, many of us didn’t realize we were doing.

We were glucose and insulin stacking. 

Every time we ate we were eating glucose/blood sugar foods. Every time we ate we were unknowingly stimulating fat storage by stimulating insulin. 

Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack were all glucose foods. Lots of carbohydrating. 

We were stacking glucose. We were almost constantly putting a steady flow of sugar into our bloodstream. Glucose is blood sugar, blood sugar comes from carbohydrate. We were stacking carbohydrates all day long and didn’t realize it. 

“Oh my gosh, that stacking of carbohydrates means I’m overloading my body with glucose. I’m overloading my body with insulin all day long. So even though I am sacrificing and even though I’m following the directors of my personal trainer, I’m still not losing the damn weight.”

Well your body never got a break from insulin, so fat burning was never even allowed.

Stop Weight Gain By Tracking Instead Of Stacking

It’s eye-opening to go from stacking glucose-generating foods to tracking them. 

Once you know foods by this criteria, you choose which carbohydrate foods you’ll have with your Thanksgiving meal and dessert. But you’ll not be stacking carbohydrate foods at breakfast and morning snack and lunchtime and afternoon snack on that day. 

This way you’re allocating your carbohydrates for the feast. 

When you sort out the foods that are compromising you, Bang! It’s exciting and you’re back in the game especially because you’re not going to be grazing because you’re not going to be hungry and you’re not going to be craving. 

So, we go from stacking which is overwhelming just like an accumulating stack of mail or homework or office work, to tracking. 

Our body is no different. It can handle glucose magnificently. But your system is overtaxed and underperforming when it is overwhelmed with glucose. So for the holidays, pay attention to those glucose foods and make sure you’re tracking them rather than letting them pile up through the whole day.

How muscle absorb glucose

The Magic Of Muscle – The Glucose Sponge

And this is where exercise really does come into play for managing body fat accumulation during the holidays. 

It’s all about the muscles. Muscles are glucose sponges, so the carbohydrate-driving-blood sugar that we eat, that we don’t want to end up around our waistline as belly fat, can be used up or sponged up or swept up by muscles demanding quick fuel. 

Going for a walk is an excellent activity. 

Stimulated muscles are muscles that have to resist something heavy. They are doing work like resistance work or weight training. That’s really powerful because muscles that are stimulated regularly, will demand more of that energy all day long. 

Why People With ‘Muscles’ Have An Easier Time With Weight Management

This is why people who have muscles and take care of them have an easier time with body weight management than those who don’t do muscle lifting activity. 

And the muscle work doesn’t have to be dramatic, but boy, the benefits are dramatic.

So incorporating some kind of movement and especially using our muscles is powerful weight gain offset. Challenged muscles use up that energy you’re accumulating from the foods you eat. 

Remember, food is just fuel. That’s all food is. It’s fuel and if our body isn’t needing fuel at the time we’re consuming it, we’re going to be carrying that fuel around our middle. 

The cells around your waistline, my waistline, everyone’s waistline, are really sensitive to insulin. It makes perfect sense that our body would carry any excess fuel around our center of gravity? 

That’s where we carry the groceries and the grandkids. We pick things up right around our center of gravity. That’s why we carry our fuel around our belly. 

An Added Bonus… Muscles Are More Sensitive To Insulin

The other cool thing about having stimulated muscles is that muscles have to respond to insulin too. And when muscles are stimulated and demanding quick energy, they become more sensitive to insulin. 

This is an important piece of reversing insulin resistance. Remember, insulin resistance means insulin persistence. Your body is pumping out more insulin because your cells are desensitized to it. But lifting weights makes our body more sensitive to insulin, so less insulin is needed over time.

So during the holidays, getting activity, especially muscle work, is an awesome stop weight gain power move.

I was just talking about this topic with my classroom coaching clients earlier today.

One of my clients who is a chiropractor said, “Knowing that lifting weight or getting an extra walk in makes a difference scientifically makes doing it so much easier.” 

It’s the knowing that keeps us all motivated and owning it. 

Another client, a grandmother plans to get out with her grandkids playing game of kickball. 

As a society, we’ve gotten so used to watching other people have all the fun. We watch the parade go by. We watch the football game. What about your parade and your game? 

We need to start doing the thing. Get your SHIFT together and I promise you, you’ll WANT to start doing again.

Activity Before Or After The Feast Tames The Weight Gain Beast

So any kind of activity before the feast, any kind of activity after the feast, tames the glucose beast. And the last one, which is my favorite because it’s delicious, is that we can actually simply SHIFT the foods that we love.

Weight Loss Foods To Eat

Delicious Weight Loss Foods To Eat For The Holidays

Stuffing? Yes, please. 

Potatoes? Yes, please. 

Dessert? Again. Yes, please. 

SHIFTing is not about not eating dessert or passing on the side dishes. That’s not our community at all. 

However, our community refuses to be sabotaged or controlled by these kinds of food ever again. We want to be able to enjoy them like everybody else, but not have them enjoy us. 

We want them to serve our SHIFT. We want to keep insulin down low because we want to be engaged in fat burning more often than sugar burning. 

Sugar Burning Got Us In This Mess… Body Fat Burning Will Get Us Out 

Sugar burning is what got us into our mess. Fat burning is going to get us out of the mess and keep us out of the mess. And that’s not just about weight.

You know, sugar burning generates free-radicals. It is aging. 

Fat burning is anti-aging. Fat burning doesn’t generate damaging free-radicals but instead generates outrageous energy particles called ketones. 

Whether we are slim or stout, with excess body fat or without much body fat, when we’re sugar burning we are in glucose churning. Glucose drives every aspect of internal deterioration. That is aging. Brain degenerative Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Chronic pain or deterioration of our joint tissues. 

AGEs… The Sugar Burning Damage You Don’t Hear About

My clients know about AGEs, advanced glycated end products. That just means the sugar in your bloodstream is going to get distributed all over your body. Your distributed blood sugar sticks to proteins and your body starts corroding from the inside. 

It’s kind of like rusting. 

But, when you eat more fat focused than carbohydrate focused, the reverse happens. 

So, the images of our “weight loss foods” above are just a few of the delicious dishes that we Shift Insiders enjoy. 

Stuffing Without Guilt

The top left is stuffing made with low carbohydrate bread. We make sure it’s low glucose by leaving out high glucose ingredients like apples or raisins. Instead we add non-insulin stimulating ingredients like nuts, celery, and lots of butter. Stuffing? Yes, please. 

Twice Baked Potato Loaded With Delicious 

One of my all-time favorites, the bottom left, that’s SHIFT’s twice baked potato. But guess what? It’s filled with cauliflower. 

Now, full transparency, the first time I swapped out potato for cauliflower I cried. I cried over the loss of my dear potatoes. That’s how much I love my potatoes. However, I did it for my daughter and I’m telling you, I’ve been so grateful every day since. 

WARNING… My first cauliflower experiment was a disaster because I held back on the fat. I’ve never made that mistake again. Nor should you!

These SHIFTed ‘fauxtatoes’ are fat loaded cauliflower inside an actual baked potato skin. Some of the potato is still in there and the cauliflower is loaded with sour cream, butter, cream cheese, and sauteed scallions. As you can see there are optional bacon crumbles on top and further topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

Get the recipe here

When I make these for parties, amazingly they are always the first to go. And rarely, if ever does anyone suspect the potato for cauliflower substitution.

 You will think you’re eating a potato. We call them faux-tatoes, which is a little cheesy, no pun intended, but you can indulge in these with little blood sugar and insulin stimulation. 

The glucose reduction is significant

Dessert Everyone! SHIFT Cheesecake

That’s our SHIFT pumpkin cheesecake on the right of the image It is sweetened with alternative, not artificial, sweeteners. These recipes are in our Holidaze Stop Weight Gain Guide

Holiday favorites should not be off limits. No way! 

You want to sit down to the dinner table or buffet just like everybody else. But now these delicious weight loss foods can work for, not against you. 

Enjoy the holidays and events and drive away cravings and weight gain at the same time.

The Best Weight Loss Eating Plan For The Holidays, Events and Life

SHIFT ensures that our go-to foods serve us rather than sabotage us. 

There’s no food off limits. You just understand how to use them so they don’t limit you anymore. 

The key to really nailing this is knowing precisely how the body responds to specific foods. You know. You no longer guess, hope, believe, think, wonder or wander any more. You know that you own the power of glucose and insulin. And owning glucose and insulin you are in the driver’s seat avoiding Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, neuropathy, etc….

You too can know a thing or two about glucose and insulin. 

You can’t survive without them, but you sure can thrive with less. 

And when you first experience less, you forget to eat. It happens. I have the pleasure of forgetting to eat every day and talking with clients who say over and over again, “Oh my gosh, it’s two o’clock and I actually forgot to eat.” 

We smile and laugh together. 

They said “it happened.” 

And I reply, “there you go. Welcome. Welcome to sanity.”

Listen To The Podcast Version Of This Article: How To Stop Weight Gain During The Holiday Season… And For Life

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About Barbara McDermott

Regarded as America's #1 Insulin Suppression Coach, Barbara is the co-founder of SHIFT Health & Wellness Solution, and the best-selling author of the groundbreaking book, ‘FOOD B.S.’, With SHIFT, Barbara brings common sense to nutrition, weight loss and health gain. Her refreshing, no nonsense approach to uncovering the truth using non-negotiable rules of science demystifies food and how to defeat chronic disease once and for all.

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