The holiday season is a busy time, with seemingly endless opportunities to eat. Family gatherings, office parties, holiday and end-of-semester programs at our children's schools, treat samples handed out as we shop, and countless aisles of holiday candy. Here are a few strategies you can use to help avoid the holiday weight gain:
- Focus on maintaining your current weight. Challenging yourself to lose weight over the holidays without a plan can set yourself up for failure.
- Don't gorge on any special holiday food just because you only get to eat it once a year. With luck, you'll still be around to enjoy it next year. On the other hand, don't deprive yourself of anything you want to taste. Instead, take a mindful bite, savoring the sight, taste and aroma.
- Avoid the trap of thinking you can eat what you want because you can just start over in the New Year. It doesn't get any easier just because it's January - there are always other reasons to indulge and celebrate.
- Remember, unless you're an elite athlete, it's unlikely you'll be able to "exercise off" weeks of overindulgence.
- Keep tabs on yourself. Write down what you are eating, weigh yourself if you want, or try on your favorite clothes to make sure they still fit.
- Create meaning beyond food by creating new traditions that have nothing to do with food.
- Sometimes, eating a particular food is our way of remembering a lost loved one. If that applies to you, find another way to remember them, like sharing memories with family members.
- Remember all the reasons why reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important to you.
Lerner, D. Your Weight Matters Magazine. Fall 2015; pg 32-33.