The 12 Pounds of Christmas

Written by JJ Smith, certified weight management specialist (NESTA) and nutritionist (ANA)

Posted September 22nd, 2011 under Belly Fat, Detoxification, Diet/Weight Loss

Happy Holidays! As we move closer to Christmas, I’m going to provide 12 tips, one each day, that will help you lose those 12 pounds that most of us gain during the holiday season!


Yes, You want to eat more frequently to keep your metabolism revved up through the day! The goal is to not let more than four hours pass without a meal or snack. Yes, ironically, it is important to eat to lose weight! The number of times you eat is important to keep your metabolism revved up. Every time you eat, you have to burn calories to digest your food, and eating increases your metabolic rate. When more than five hours pass without eating, your body automatically lowers its metabolic rate. In contrast, by eating three meals and two healthy snacks throughout the day, your body stays at a steady metabolic burn rate that helps you burn calories and fat all day. Remember, we are eating every three or four hours because eating less will slow your metabolism. It sends a signal to your body that it is starving and deprived, causing the body to respond by slowing the metabolic rate and holding on to existing fat reserves in the body. So, eat more. Yes, you can do that!

And, when you eat more, always choose nutrient-rich foods, not empty calories. This means you will eat foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. This includes the lean proteins, good carbs and healthy fats. Eating junk foods is like eating empty calories. You want your calories to provide you with nutritional benefits that will help you heal your body and maintain a permanently healthy weight. Before you eat anything, ask yourself, is this a healthy, nutrient-rich food or empty calories? Commit to be mindful of everything you eat.


Here’s my quick tip of the day!

Spice it up. Cayenne pepper is known as a fat burner because it fires up your metabolism. It heats up the body, and the body burns calories when it cools itself down. One study showed that hot or spicy peppers (chili or cayenne peppers) caused a temporary metabolism boost of about 23 percent. This will help your body burn more calories so your body will store less fat. Some people have even purchased cayenne pepper capsules to supplement spicy pepper into their diet daily just to boost their metabolism.


Give yourself the wonderful gift of optimal health and wellness. To do this, you must first decide that your health is one of the top priorities in your life. Know that you cannot move forward in losing weight permanently and restoring optimal health without self-forgiveness. Additionally, you must also forgive friends, family, and others who have fed you an unhealthy diet over the years, as they probably didn’t know any better and did the best they could with what they knew at the time. You will sometimes make bad decisions in terms of what you eat. We all lose control and make bad food choices, but it is important to know that one bad decision doesn’t have to turn into two or three. The key to weight loss and staying confident is to decrease the number of bad decisions you make on a daily basis.

Know that your body is “naturally thin.” I truly believe that most overweight people are actually naturally thin. The body is complex and designed to maintain healthiness. The body is smarter than any diet pill or fad diet on the market. If you just change your eating habits to align with your body’s natural ability to heal, stay slim, and have energy, you will never have to worry about weight again.

It is time to treat your body as the greatest gift that you have. It is time to shine as the healthy person you were always meant to be. When you have a healthy and positive energy in life, amazing things like love, joy, success, and wealth come your way. Every interaction at work, church, home, or in the streets can be simply magnetic. Get healthy, lose weight, and watch your entire life begin to change for the better. Be sure to enjoy healthy foods, support your body with nutritional supplements, cleanse your body through various detox methods, and stay physically active. Be sure to always make time to nourish your inner spirit and soul by giving your body the rest and relaxation it needs to stay strong and healthy. In 2012, give yourself a wonderful gift of optimal health and wellness.


Even if you achieve your weight-loss goals through a particular diet, you typically slowly gain the weight right back. The problem is that you “go on” a diet, which implies that you also later “go off” the diet. A typical diet is something you do for a short period of time. Therein lies the reason 95 percent of people who lose weight on a diet gain it back. In fact, if someone tells me they’ve lost twenty or thirty pounds on some great new diet, I tell them to come back in six months’ time. If they have maintained their weight loss, then I’m willing to listen about this great new diet. By then, in many cases, they have unfortunately already begun to gain all the weight back.

So, I want to provide three reasons that diets are ineffective for PERMANENT weight loss:

Calorie Counting is Useless

Most diets focus on restricting calories by cutting back on the amount of food eaten. But calorie restriction doesn’t work in and of itself; losing weight is not just about eating less. In fact, if you eat too little, you set off a chain of chemical imbalances in your hormones and brain that actually cause you to gain weight. Yes, calories are important. But it is not the number of calories you consume as much as it is the type of calories that makes all the difference between how much weight you lose and how healthy you are.

You can actually have an identical amount of calories from sugary foods (cupcake) and lean proteins (turkey breast), but the metabolic effect will be entirely different. The nutrients in sugary foods are different from the nutrients in lean proteins, and so they cause a different hormonal response, which plays a key role in determining what happens to those calories, such as how much of them end up being stored as fat in the body. This is why calorie counting simply does not work for weight loss.

Diets Are Boring!

Too many diets force you to eat bland, prepackaged, unappetizing food or chalky-tasting milkshakes. This causes you to crave and fantasize about all the delicious foods you can’t have on your diet. These cravings or mental images challenge your willpower and cause you to give in to the foods you’re missing, making you feel like you’ve failed on your diet again. In my new book, Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out!, the DEM System allows you to discover whole, natural foods that are healthy and palatable, without the empty calories.

Yo-yo Dieting Slows Your Metabolism

Yo-yo dieting will alter your metabolism for the worse and make it more difficult to lose weight in the long term. Some of you who are constantly on diets have probably begun to slow your metabolism unknowingly. Here’s how this has happened: When someone goes on a diet, the body notices that it is not getting as much food as it used to or as it needs to, so in order to conserve energy, the body slows its metabolic rate. It also begins storing fat reserves to ensure that it will have enough energy throughout the day.

Your goal should be to change your lifestyle, including proper nutrition and getting physically active, as a way to achieve your weight-loss goals.


You always here that it is good to drink water, but it’s important to note that drinking water and staying hydrated is absolutely critical for losing weight. Water flushes out toxins and supports every metabolic process in the body, carrying toxins and waste away from cells to the kidneys to be removed from the body. Therefore, water is essential to a healthy, functioning body. But so many people struggle to drink water, so I wanted to provide one option that helps you stay hydrated while not hindering your weight loss goals.

Coconut Water:

Coconut water is simply an outstanding beverage for so many reasons. It is my personal favorite these days. In tropical regions, it has been used for centuries as a health and beauty aid because it naturally hydrates the skin. It has a natural balance of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, making it a healthy drink for hydrating and replacing electrolytes in the body. It is low in calories and has been shown to have antiviral and anti-fungal properties.

Water or juice from young coconuts is a super-hydrating kind of water that is not only delicious but also rich in minerals, especially potassium. It has almost twice as much potassium as a banana. Drinking it is an excellent way to replace electrolytes after a heavy workout or simply to hydrate the body on a hot day. Many athletes and runners drink coconut water instead of sports drinks like Gatorade. It is fat- and cholesterol-free and low in calories, with positive effects on circulation, body temperature, heart function, and blood pressure. Try Coconut Water as an alternative to sodas/diet sodas and store-bought fruit juices. The brands I enjoy the most are Vita Coco and O.N.E. Coconut Water.


If you want to minimize how much weight you gain this holiday season, there are certain family members you’re going to want to stay away from or limit your time around them. These are family members who cause stress, strife and unnecessary drama in your life! Let me explain why!

When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol (also known as the stress hormone). Fat caused by stress (i.e., stress fat) stores in the belly, yes, stress causes belly fat! Studies have shown that when cortisol is released into the bloodstream, you become less sensitive to leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you are full. When this happens, you tend to eat more and more and begin to crave sugar. That means that your body not only slows down your metabolism when you are stressed out, it actually tells you to consume more food. So, yes, stress can cause a hormonal imbalance that actually causes you to gain weight.

This is why I think to eliminate stress you not only have to get rest, sleep and relaxation, you’ll have to “detox” from family and friends who cause you unnecessary stress and strife. People who belittle you and make you feel unworthy should get very little of your time. These people trigger stress and negative emotions in your life. Sometimes they can just say hello, and your stress level increases because you know at the end of that interaction, you will feel low, hurt, or sad. Take steps to minimize the time you spend with these people and continue to find ways to minimize stress in your life. This will help you stay healthy, balanced and happy!


One of my favorite things to do is to get in a sauna! Why I love the sauna so much is that I’m all about things that have a health benefit while providing a beauty benefit also. You can kill two birds with one stone. You release toxins, burn calories, and come out with radiant, glowing skin. I had a client that learned from my teleseminars about saunas and found that by sweating out her toxins in the sauna, her acne cleared up; this was due to her sweating out the toxins as opposed to them being released through the skin, causing acne and other rashes.

If you want to know how healthy someone is, sometimes you can just look at his or her skin and tell. If someone has clear, radiant skin, there’s a good chance he or she is very healthy; breakouts/acne, puffiness, or dry skin indicate that the body is having some health problems. Experts say that a sauna session can do more to clean, detoxify, and simply “freshen” your skin than anything else.

As it relates to weight loss, you can burn 300 to 500 calories in just fifteen to twenty minutes in the sauna, which is almost equivalent to 1 to 2 hours of brisk walking. Saunas works positively on metabolism, increasing its speed and intensity, which in turn results in weight loss. In my new book, Lose Weight Without Dieting and Working Out!, I describe the different types of saunas and the best way to get a home sauna for under $200! Make saunas a part of your strategy for health, beauty and vibrance!


Although belly fat is very common, most people don’t know that it is the most dangerous fat on the body. Belly fat, known as visceral fat, is located behind your abdominal wall and surrounds your internal organs. Visceral fat typically shows as the belly fat/spare tire around the waist and mid-section and even thin people can have stubborn belly fat. Belly fat, aka visceral fat, contains toxins and substances that are harmful to our health. Studies have shown that exposing yourself to an excessive amount of environmental toxins (e.g., pollutants, birth control pills, prescription medications, household cleaners, food additives, and pesticides) increases belly fat. Thus, a very effective way to get rid of belly fat is to eliminate toxins from the body.

Detoxifying the body and eliminating toxins can be accomplished through various detoxification methods. Detoxification is a total-body cleansing process that involves cleansing all of the detox organs, including the liver, colon, kidneys, skin, etc. Detoxification is critical to losing fat because many of the toxins the body holds onto are stored in fat cells. One way to detoxify to get rid of belly fat is to do either colonics or take colon-cleansing herbs/supplements. Additionally, in my new book, Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out!. I discuss in great detail ten ways to detoxify the body including Colonics, Saunas, Body Brushing and many others so that you can reduce the toxic overload in your body and not only reduce belly fat but also lose weight quickly.

Happy Holidays,

JJ Smith (, Author of Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out, is a nutritionist and certified weight-management specialist who has been featured on The Montel Williams Show, The Jamie Foxx Show and on the NBC, FOX, CBS and CW networks. Her advice has also been featured in the pages of Glamour, Essence, and Ladies Home Journal. Since reclaiming her health, losing weight, and discovering a “second youth” in her forties, bestselling author JJ Smith has become the voice of inspiration to women who want to lose weight, be healthy, and get their sexy back! JJ may be contacted by email at [email protected] and on Twitter: jjsmithonline and Facebook Page: RealTalkJJ