Ready or not, the holidays are upon us! For most of us, this means gatherings, parties, and food–lots of food. Everyone loves a buffet of delicious treats. However, this time of year can strike fear in the hearts of those who are being conscious of their weight. Rest assured, friends, there are ways of surviving the holidays.
Keep your eyes on the prize. Remember what you’re working for. Is it a smaller pants size? Is it a bikini next summer? If you keep your purpose in the forefront of your mind, it will be easier to resist that second helping, or that extra cookie.
Don’t cut yourself off from everything. It’s the holiday season, after all! Allow yourself a dessert. Just try not to fill your plate up with, say, three desserts. Go ahead and sample Aunt Martha’s casserole, and Joe’s chocolate cake. Just eat very small portions (just using a smaller plate may help resist large helpings). If you go in with the attitude that you aren’t going to eat any of it, it’s likely that you’ll end up bingeing at some point, and feeling really bad about yourself.
Eat slowly. Take time to listen to your body. When you feel full, stop eating. It’s not likely that anyone is going to be mad at you for throwing away part of what’s on your plate. If someone comments, just explain what you’re doing. You never know, you just might inspire them to do the same!
Don’t let others make you feel like you have to eat! This happens all the time. You make a healthy choice by saying no to something you don’t need, or that puts you over your calorie budget. The people around you scoff, roll their eyes, and make a comment along the lines of you not needing to watch your calories, or that it’s the holidays, and you should be enjoying them more. It’s easy to let people get to you. Stay strong, explain that your health and weight are important to you, and stick to your guns.
Stay active. It’s really easy to settle into the comfy couch, or fluffy arm chair. Especially when you’re at a family gathering. But when you do that, it’s also really easy to snack. Help in the kitchen (if you have the self-control to avoid snacks, that is!), wash dishes, or take the kids outside for a big neighborhood football game.
Keep up with your exercise plan. Don’t make excuses. Get in your workouts. Endorphins and regular exercise can help keep you motivated to eat healthfully.
Don’t procrastinate. New Year’s is just around the corner. It’s easy to adopt the plan to eat what you want in December, then kick it into gear with diet and exercise in January. But let’s be honest. How many people actually stick with their new year’s resolutions? Remember that you aren’t dieting, you’re living a healthy lifestyle. Start now (or keep up the good work) so that you don’t have to make up for the holiday gluttony in January.
For those who are trying to lose weight, or maintain their current weight, this time of year can be very challenging. It’s not impossible to stay healthy though, and if you follow these tips, you CAN survive and feel pretty darn proud of yourself, come New Year’s Day!