Tips for surviving the holidays without sacrificing your weight loss goals!
No one wants to be a killjoy at a Christmas party or a family get-together. But when it comes to dealing with the temptations of the season’s high-calorie bounty, you don’t have to be a Grinch.
Realize the Challenge
At any time of the year, losing weight and keeping it off is very difficult. Holidays are an especially high-risk time. The idea that you should stick to a “diet to lose pounds” is adding stress to an already stressful season. You’re much more likely to stick to your plan and succeed if you set your expectations more realistically, aiming to maintain your weight or to minimize weight gain too, say, one to three pounds.
Write It Down
When you’ve figured out your goals, write them down and keep a diary of what you eat. When researchers talk to people who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off, they inevitably say that writing everything down made the biggest difference. It’s that willingness to stay in touch with what you’re eating that’s important.
Even more critical is keeping track of your weight: weigh-in every other day. This accountability factor makes a big difference. Often, people avoid the scale because they don’t want to come face-to-face with the news. But if you detect a two to three pound gain, there’s still time to get back on track before things escalate.
It’s easy to underestimate the toll that the season takes – physically, psychologically, and emotionally. To avoid gaining weight, you need commitment and awareness. It’s best to do this with a group of people – even one or two friends or a close buddy – whom you can call upon to talk about eating concerns.
Identify Difficult Situations
Identifying the situations that cause you to overindulge, like holiday parties. Eat raw vegetables or a piece of fruit before you go out, so you have something in your stomach. Don’t drink any alcohol; instead, try to hold a glass of sparkling water, so you feel like you are doing something with your hands.
- Don’t arrive hungrily; eat something before you go.
- Pass up peanuts, pretzels, chips, and other everyday snacks. Spend your calories on the special treats you really want.
- Wear a form-fitting outfit, with a belt if possible.
- Make socializing, rather than food, the focus of the event.
- Keep your portions in check – to keep calories under control.
- Plan how much alcohol you’ll drink. It loosens your inhibitions and contributes to calorie consumption.
- Don’t stand near the buffet table. In fact, keep your back to it, so you won’t even see it!
- Make a deal with yourself that you will learn something new about someone you don’t know at the party.
- Wear a special piece of jewelry – a sparkly bangle or big ring – as a visible reminder to yourself to eat in moderation.
- Practice saying “no, thank you.” It’s okay to turn down invitations or tell a pushy host you don’t want seconds.