Things You Can Do Now to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
How to Holiday-Proof Your Diet Plan
If it's not the homemade cookies and cakes that get you, the eggnog and cocktails will certainly do their best to tempt you into overindulging. While we may still be lingering in the land of everything pumpkin, we're just a snowball's throw away from the start of the winter holiday season-and with that comes the veritable blizzard of dinners, parties, and edible gifts. When you're trying to lose or maintain your weight, this time of year is filled with tantalizing temptations that could derail even the best of intentions.
Indeed, studies show that weight tends to increase during the heart of the holiday season, which stretches from November to January. In fact, how much you weigh in October is likely the lightest you'll be all year, with most people seeing a steady climb through New Year's. Fortunately, you're not powerless against that sobering statistic. Start making a few slight adjustments to your mindset and approach today, and you'll be poised to keep those extra winter pounds at bay.
Exercise Strategies: Don't let your workout schedule freeze up. WIth the flurry of invites and obligations that usher in the holidays, it may seem like you have a slim chance of making it to the gym on a regular basis. It is more important than ever to stick to your workout schedule during the holidays.
Find a personal exercise elf: When you have a workout buddy waiting for you, you'll be much more likely to show up at the gym, a fitness class or just the sidewalk outside your house for a quick stroll around the neighborhood.
Get into a routine-like yesterday: If you adopt healthier habits now, they'll be old hat when the holidays roll around. Desgin a regimen that fits with your lifestyle and that you can adhere to all winter long.
Change your food mindset: Adopt an abundance mindset around food rather than a scarcity mindset, which means realizing that food will always be around and available. Stick to small samples of each favorite food. By allowing yourself a bite or two, you'll cater to your cravings without catapulting your calorie count.
Call for backup from the food police: If you simply don't trust yourself to bypass the bevy of temptations that await, consider working with a dietitian to get you through the next few months. The holiday season is when many people need the most support and guidance, but it's also a time when dieters are likely to wave the white flag.
Embrace food-free celebrations: In our culture, food and fun are inextricably linked. It's hard to imagine a holiday party without a smorgasbord of eats and treats. This year, buck the trend by finding fun activities that don't involve feasting.
Come prepared to parties: Just as it's never a good idea to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, showing up hungry to a holiday party is a recipe for poor food choices and to overindulge. Bring along healthy food options in case you're not able to find anything, and pay close attetnion to your level of fullness. Learn to stop eating when you're 80 to 90 percent full, not 120 percent. Even if you have selected less than ideal foods, not overeating will prevent weight gain.
Track your progress: If you're not measuring your goals, how will you know when to celebrate? Keep a calendar or note in your phone with your weekly progress, so you can see what's working and what's not.
While these strategies will help to minimize holiday weight gain, try not to get discouraged if a few extra pounds sneak in. The holidays are a time for celebrating with family and friends, so there's no need to make yourself miserable by overanalyzing every bite or slip-up. The key is rising above those missteps and continuing to work toward your goals. It is important to maintain a positive attitude about your health. Realize that if your body isn't the way you want it, only you can change it.
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