Holiday season is upon us and since I work with many people wanting to lose weight, I am often asked for strategies to maintaining present weight or even to continue weight loss during the holidays. No doubt your willpower will be tested during this season. Invitations await, cookies and fancy cocktails beckon, and it seems like everyone is begging you to taste their fattening masterpieces. Don’t panic, make a plan and be kind to yourself!
Here are some tips to help you stick to your goals during the holidays:
- Avoid hunger. Make sure you eat regularly during the day and always include healthy proteins, which you help you feel satisfied for longer periods of time. Before going to a party, eat some vegetables and protein so you are not ravenous when the party begins. Going to a party with a somewhat full stomach will help you avoid some of the temptations.
- Do some party planning. Don’t plan to abstain from all the goodies, that’s probably unrealistic and may cause you to overeat in the end. It’s often difficult to turn a blind eye to the scrumptious foods placed before you, so decide in advance what you’re going to splurge on. If dessert is your favorite, decide to take a bite or two of one to three desserts. Or maybe you’ll skip desserts in favor of a starch at the meal. Perhaps the hors d’oeuvres are what calls you so you’ll forgo desserts and starches in favor of tasting a few of them. Planning ahead will encourage you not to sample everything and will help prevent you giving yourself a hard time.
- Keep your body moving. Plan to do a little exercise every day. Take a walk with a friend, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do yoga or dance. Just moving and exercising with friends will give you that boost of support you may need.
- Say NO thank you. When hosts encourage you to eat or drink, learn to say “thank you but I’ve had enough”. It’s lovely to want to protect other’s feelings but not at the expense of your own health.
- Be kind to yourself. You are not what you eat and what you eat doesn’t translate into your value as a person. Eating well during the holidays is very challenging. If you slip up, show yourself some kindness and recognize that you can stick to your plan going forward. Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to a friend you love and admire.
- Stay on track while at home. Make sure to eat healthy while at home, loading up on your vegetables and healthy proteins.
- Visualize the way you’d like to look in the outfit you’d like to wear. Ask yourself how each choice of food will impact your weight goal.
- Celebrate yourself when you stick to your plans and follow your goals. Make sure to notice your successes and even reward yourself with a massage, facial or something else of meaning to you.
- Minimize stress. Holidays can be a stressful time. Minimize stress by exercising, stretching, meditating and spending time with friends.
I wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!