One of the toughest times of the year for those trying to lose weight is the holiday season. Many people will gain between 5 and 7 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. While the holidays are a time to rejoice, celebrate and share fond memories, they are also a time for eating, eating and more eating. Wherever you go, whatever you do, food always seems to be the central focus.
How can you try to maintain your weight and heart-health during such a tempting time?
I’ve come up with 4-steps to surviving the holiday hoopla that is surefire success – this season and in the future ones to come.
1. Limit your sweets to one-a-day
While you can’t control every situation, you can control how much food goes into your mouth. If you are constantly bombarded with holiday parties and displays of desserts or candies you can still effectively help prevent overeating and weight gain. One way is the one-a-day method. Allow yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season. Remember that you may have to compensate for it later in the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising.
2. Don’t starve yourself all day to justify eating more at dinner.
Eating a satisfying breakfast can ward off the temptation to overindulge later in the day. I recommend eating 3-5 small meals throughout the day. Portion control is a must. If you miss this on one you could easily consume 2000-3000 calories in one meal! This is how people pack on the pounds. Not only will this lead to one big binge but it will slow your metabolism to a crawl so everything you do take in has a much great chance of winding up as fat. Eat your regular meals as you normally would but try and make them slightly smaller than usual. Also, have a light snack of protein and fat before going to the party to curb your hunger. This will help to reduce your craving for all the party food.
3. Planned physical activity.
Get moving. Make it a priority by scheduling daily activity into your routine. Physical activity is an effective method for preventing weight gain during the holidays by burning calories, suppressing appetite, and helping deal with stress. Physical activity is the common denominator for losing weight and keeping it off. When you do manage to sneak in enough time to get in your workout, focus more on intensity than duration. You will stand a much better chance of maintaining your fitness.
4. Say No
Inevitably there will be people that try to get you to overeat. “You just have to try these cookies.” Sound familiar? Or I love this one “there is only a little left, just finish it up.” Or even tougher to turn down; “I made these especially for you, have some.” It can be difficult turning down offers of food at the holidays because you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings. Just explain that you are on a health and fitness plan (not a diet) and you do not want to have any of what they are offering because it looks so good that you won’t be able to control yourself.
Make a commitment to getting healthy, and for a majority of people reading this, make a commitment to staying healthy. Your health is more important than the temptation to over indulge.
Remember, if you had one to many cookies – get back on track immediately. Staying consistent most of the time is key to your weight loss efforts. If you do not take care of yourself – who will?
Have a happy and healthy holiday!
Dr. Lori L Shemek, the Founder/President of DLS HealthWorks, LLC, is a well-known and reputed Professional Health Coach Expert and founder of the Health Attraction System™. Lori is passionate about using her years of expertise in health and psychology, for the betterment of her clients; to provide them with the tools they need to help them achieve their desired goals. Being a first-hand witness to the effects of general poor health and malnourishment, she continues her onward journey to propagate the true importance of optimal nutrition in a person’s everyday life. You can find Lori on Twitter, Facebook or her website..