Even if you have superhuman willpower, the vacation season is challenging for you. Staying on track can seem so daunting, you are feeling like swan-diving into the actual eggnog and sending your current sensible routine into hibernation before New Year. But, as everybody knows, excess pounds don’t disappear combined with the decorations. And nobody would like to start the new year from the hole, body-wise.
The holidays. That means countless festivities full of food, family, friends and fun.
And food. Did we mention the food?
Yes, it’s food season. For weeks you’ll be surrounded by mounds of mashed potatoes and pounds of pie that could tempt even the most dedicated dieter. Sure, the upcoming weeks are supposed to be filled with joy and cheer, but for those of us trying to lose weight, the holidays can prove exceptionally stressful. Besides the many daunting meals we’ll face, the extra hours spent shopping are sure to put a kink in any exercise routine.
Let’s face it — until that big ball drops in Times Square, it will be virtually impossible to focus on dietary perfection. That’s why we suggest you relax and enjoy yourself this season. Give yourself permission to party. Don’t worry about shedding pounds over the next few weeks. Modify your weight-loss goals during the holidays so that they are more realistic. You won’t be disappointed.
Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
1. Divide, Don’t Deprive:
When you sit down to a big holiday meal, it’s okay to try what looks tasty; just take a half portion of the foods you want. That way you’re cutting down on your intake and still enjoying the holiday treats.
2. Two Taste Tests:
When cooking for the holidays, keep your hand from automatically going to your mouth. Limit your taste tests to two. That’s enough to know if your goodies are good without eating too many extra calories. If you still need to munch while cooking, keep healthy snacks, like carrots or grapes, near the mixing bowl.
3. Keep on Movin’:
Try to incorporate some added activity into your holiday responsibilities. For instance, park farther away from the stores when headed for your shopping frenzy, and take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator whenever possible.
4. Talk About It:
Remember, you’re not alone. There are many Thrivers hoping to watch their weight this season.
Eating smaller portions and keeping active are the keys to successfully maintaining your weight through the holidays.
5. Think Before You Eat
Just because your co-worker brought in her famous chocolate peppermint bark doesn’t mean you need to eat it until you feel ill. “Many women think they have to fit in all their favorite dishes now because the holidays come only once a year,” says Richter.
Before you reach for a treat, stop to ask yourself how hungry you are—and whether you really want it. “Also, remind yourself that there will be plenty of other opportunities to indulge all season,” she says. If you’re already full but can’t bear to pass up those goodies, consider having just a tiny taste or saving them for another day.