07 Dec Strategies to Maintain Your Weight During the Holidays (Part 1 of 2)
Holiday season has been here technically since October! Have you already gained a pound or two? Smile. Don’t sweat it.
Health conscious people everywhere are bracing themselves for another month of solid parties, feasts and festivities.
It can be overwhelming.
My #1 philosophy is that life should be awesome and you shouldn’t restrict yourself from things you enjoy. It can be helpful to enter the holidays with a plan to keep your health style more or less on track.
Read more about two strategies I personally take to make sure I don’t begin the New Year trying to make amends for the holidays.
#1 PICK YOUR BATTLES
In the spirit of cultivating a growth mindset, be realistic about what you can and can’t tackle. While, “I’m not going to eat a cookie for the entire holidays” is unrealistic for most. Saying “I’m not going to eat any cookies at the office” is entirely doable.
I recommend taking a good look at your calendar and evaluating which events are worth a bit of a food splurge. You can use whatever criteria you want for this, from the quality of the food to its sentimental value.
Key point is that it’s worth it to you.
Two special occasions per month is a reasonable target. You can dial this slightly up or down depending on your goals and how important the holidays are to you, but if you’re celebrating multiple times a week it could be problematic.
Once you have chosen your truly special occasions, don’t worry about them anymore. Look forward to enjoying them guilt-free. We’ll use the following steps to make sure the damage is minimal
#2 PLAN YOUR ATTACK
Now that you’ve chosen what is worth splurging on, you have also decided what isn’t. For me its store bought deserts. I can get that ANYTIME. Put homemade German Chocolate Cake in my face! Best believe I will eat it! I only get this at during the holidays.
When these are events that I can’t gracefully opt-out of, it’s important that I know what my plan will be before heading in.
Always remember that food isn’t the reason you’re attending, and try to focus on people and activities instead. That said, when planning for food, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:
For shorter, cocktail hour-type gatherings, my priorities are making sure I eat beforehand or making concrete dinner plans afterward. That way a glass of wine or two won’t trick me into believing that ‘just okay’ food is my only option.
For longer events and dinners where escaping food is impossible, I optimize my food choices for health and make peace with the fact that this won’t be the most rewarding meal of my life.
In these cases, my number one priority is eating vegetables. I try to fill up on as many as I can, so at least the evening isn’t a net loss health-wise. My second priority is eating some kind of protein or meat, so I’m satisfied enough to avoid the uninspiring desserts that will inevitably appear later.
Finally, at events like this I stick to lower alcohol drinks (e.g. white wines, lighter beers) and completely avoid cocktails, which are often as sweet as soda. For me, cocktails are a splurge and I’ve already decided this event wasn’t worth it.
Most importantly, remember and honor of Savior Jesus Christ, enjoy family, and friends!!!