Every year we see it again. Late November signals the white flag of surrender for many people who give up their healthy habits without a thought. It’s as if the holidays are a weapon of mass destruction, obliterating our weight loss achievements so far and crushing our puny willpower.
It doesn’t have to be this way. By approaching the next month and a half with a can-do attitude, you can weather the calorie storm, enjoy the down time, and feel great. Here are a few simple suggestions.
1. Don’t come (too) hungry to a holiday meal. During the next six weeks, you will be invited to many a tasty meal. A classic mistake is not eating all day long in order to make room for all the tasty treats awaiting us. However, this strategy backfires consistently. We tend to dramatically overeat once the awaited meal arrives. It’s the way our bodies have been wired by millions of years of evolution.
2. Start with water. Start all meals and parties by making sure you are properly hydrated. This will help reduce your overall caloric intake.
3. Be selective. Many holiday meals and parties are buffet style, with a dozen or two options to lump onto your plate. They are not all of the same quality. Before filling your plate, get a bird’s eye view of what’s available and decide to choose only a few of the most appetizing dishes.
4. Although the holiday season is 6 weeks long, most of the time is technically not a holiday, just regular work days. Save you caloric celebrations for the few days that actually are a holiday – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s eve.
5. Continue with your healthy routines – whether exercise or updating your food diary, keep at it. Don’t let Thanksgiving derail you for more than a day or two. Get back to your regular groove fast, especially since you should be having more free time, not less, during vacation.
Being minded to the risks of holiday eating can increase your chance of weathering this season without significant weight fluctuations.