How to Maintain Your Weight Loss Goals During the Holidays

The holidays are often referred to as “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year”. Unfortunately, the holidays also tend to bring a great deal of stress upon most people.
 
As I know all too well, stress often equals weight gain. Many of us, myself included, use food as a way to cope with stress. The seemingly constant supply of Holiday cookies and sweets make it all the more difficult to resist temptation when willpower is low.
 
It is important to set realistic goals during this time of the year. Do not expect to lose a drastic amount of weight – instead focus on either maintaining your weight or losing 1 pound every 2 weeks.
 
1)      Track what you eat — Be sure to include all “bites”, the calories can quickly pile up. It has been proven that people who keep food diaries are more successful in losing weight and keeping it off.
 
2)      Eat Breakfast — This will give you energy to tackle the busy day ahead. It will also help fill you up and prevent you from overeating later.
 
3)      Treat fitness like an appointment — Your schedule is jam-packed during the Holidays. Schedule your workouts on the calendar to help hold yourself accountable.
 
4)      Carry snacks with you — You will be busy running errands, so keep a few snacks on hand for when hunger strikes. This will help prevent you from binge eating later on.
Some easy on the go snacks: almonds, carrots, apples, bananas, smoothies, vegetables.
 
5)      Get plenty of sleep — Lack of sleep is linked with weight gain, so make sure you catch those Zzz’s.
 
6)      Hydrate — Make sure you are drinking a minimum of 8 glasses a water a day. This will not only help your waistline, it will give your skin a beautiful glow for all those Holiday parties!
 
7)      Save alcohol for special occasions — Cutting back on alcohol can literally save you hundreds of calories. Saving alcohol for only special occasions will help your weight loss goals stay on track.  When you decide to indulge, try alternating alcoholic drinks with a glass of water.
 
8)      Multitask — Shop AND workout! Going to the mall? Try parking far away and take the stairs rather than elevators when shopping.
 
9)      Don’t be afraid to say NO— During the holidays, it often seems like people are constantly putting food in front of you. You don’t want to come off as rude, however do not feel pressured and sacrifice your weight loss goals. Learn how to say no politely - "No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious", or "I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful".  After a few times, you will realize it’s really not that hard to say no nicely!
 
During this time of the year, focus on spending time with friends and family. With focus on quality time, rather than food, you will be able to enjoy all the season has to offer! This could be a great year to start a new family tradition – what about a turkey trot or a family walk?
 
It’s very important to remember that one bad day (or even week!) is not the end-all for your weight loss. If you over indulged, acknowledge it, try to understand why you did and how you can prevent doing so again, then MOVE ON!  Don’t be too tough on yourself, enjoy your holidays and remember: YOU ARE WORTH IT!

 

Source: Kristin Pulling

Susan Arruda