As we find ourselves in the middle of the holiday season, we may fail to recognize the potential harm the season brings to us. The period between Thanksgiving and New Years is the time during which many Americans gain weight. This is understandable given the holiday feasts (starting with Turkey day) and the increase in shopping outings and restaurant visits. The typical festivities of late November to January would not be problematic if we were good at shedding the weight we put on during this period. Unfortunately, we’re not at all good at that. What does this mean?
Well, for those of us who indulge in the food aspect of the holidays, the yearly weight gain means that every year we’re a little heavier than we were the year before. The yearly climb in our weight can pose a threat to our health as we get older. And for those of us who are on a life-changing journey of weight loss and lifestyle change, the holidays can mean immediate trouble for our eating and exercise plans.
So what can we do about it? There is no reason to suggest that the only solution is to not participate in the traditions of the season. There are, however, some tips to help you stick to your weight loss goals or minimize the damage from the holidays. Various health sources and experts, such as WebMD and Stanford University researchers, have come up with great ways to keep the holidays fun without hurting your waist.
- Focus on aspects of the holiday other than food (decorations, friends and family)
- Make a mental plan of what/how much you will eat at parties and stick to it!
- Don’t hang around the food. It’ll help keep your mind off of it
- Stick to healthy habits! Try to continue being healthy without being impossible. This is a season of food and high stress, so some flexibility and modification is expected.
- Pace your eating. If you’re planning on enjoying everything, don’t eat it all at the beginning of the party. At a sit-down dinner, serve yourself reasonable portions so that you can try everything on the table.
- Limit the Alcohol. This adds a lot of calories and too much of it can affect your ability to control your eating.
There are many ways for you to enjoy the holidays without hurting your waistline and/or your weight loss goals. Sticking to them is doable, especially if you have someone to support you. Talk to your weight loss coach today for support and for more ideas on how to navigate the rest of the holiday season!