I don’t think I have to tell you just how tricky the holiday season can be when you’re trying to lose weight or just stay on track to meet your wellness goals. That’s why I developed these 5 steps for a healthy holiday season that is foolproof!
Step One – Get the Excuses Out of the Way
- Excuse #1: The food looks and tastes so good! How can I resist?
It’s true—there will be plenty of terrific foods. But will you feel good after you eat them? Imagine yourself overindulging. How do you feel afterwards? Was the taste really worth it? Could you have received the same pleasure with a smaller amount?
- Excuse #2: It’s a special occasion. It only comes once a year.
The holidays only come once a year, but the parties, events, and gifts of food never seem to end! Stop and decide which ones are really worth the splurge. When it is time for the splurge, bank calories from earlier in the day.
- Excuse #3: Everyone else is eating. The hostess will be offended.
Just because everyone is eating does not mean that you have to eat everything too. Choosing smaller portions shouldn’t offend anyone. Remember, “If you half-it, you can have it.” And sometimes it may be necessary to “just say no”.
- Excuse #4: I should offer desserts to the company in my home.
Keeping your favorite desserts at home usually spells trouble. When treats are in the house, more of the dessert usually ends up in you, rather than your guests. Therefore, keep some low fat, low-calorie alternatives on hand. Make a trip to your local library and flip through the healthy holiday cooking magazines and books for other creative alternatives. Or check out various websites for ideas like AOL or Spark People
- Excuse #5: I’ll get back to my healthy eating plan tomorrow.
This thinking is okay, as long as it is realistic. Make sure an occasional splurge does NOT become a repeated excuse (or turn into “next week” or “next month”).
Don’t do this on your own. Join the FREE Healthy Holiday Challenge now.
Step Two – Arm yourself with Knowledge
The average American will consume more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day alone, according to the Caloric Control Council. Double that for Christmas Day
The Truth about Fat
So what happens to all those extra calories? Our body stores it!
How Many Pounds?
The average person gains around 1-5 pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year’s. That extra weight is still present a year later
Americans consume over 675 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving Day alone! Although turkey contains a natural sedative called Tryptophan, the chemical doesn’t have a large effect because it’s mixed with everything else you eat. That “food coma” you experience is actually the result of your body working overtime to digest all that food!
Step Three – Develop a plan for success
Take inventory. Identify all the situations that make it difficult for you to eat healthy during the holiday season. Is it office parties? Food courts at the shopping mall? Family gatherings? Extra baking and cooking at home?
Write your food down – use your logs! It will help you keep track of what you are eating each day and plan your meals with greater awareness.
Plan a system of attack
- Bring a low calorie appetizer to the office party.
- Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach.
- Use healthier substitutions and make a low-calorie, low-fat dessert for the family gathering.
- Budget calories throughout the day, so you can afford to spend a few more at the party.
Burn extra calories in a longer-than-usual exercise session. Some research shows that adding just 10 more minutes of intense exercise to your usual workout can stave off holiday weight gain. You can easily add a little more activity to your holiday routine to help “make up” for some of the extra calories you eat. Burn this many calories in just 10 minutes!
- Walking at brisk pace = 54 calories
- Heavy cleaning = 54 calories
- Step-ups (using stairs) = 175 calories
- Raking leaves = 40 calories
Get rest. Stay focused by getting 7-8 hours of sleep nightly. This will help you avoid fatigue.
Remember to reward. Making it through the holidays can be hard work. Establish a reward system to stay motivated along the way. Deposit a pre-determined amount of money (the amount should be based on what you can financially afford) in a jar every week that you are able to follow your healthy eating plan. Then after the holidays—when the sales are big—go out and buy something special just for you!
Get the support you need to successfully navigate the holidays – join the Healthy Holiday Challenge HERE. It’s free!
Step 4 – Stay Positive
Everyone makes mistakes, so there will be times when even the most disciplined person will slip. Don’t worry or stress during these mishaps—it is critical to get back on track. Staying positive is half the battle.
Step 5 – Stay in Prayer
God is the source of your strength. Rely on Him when you feel weak. He will help you manage the temptations and challenges. And focusing on Him will help you remember the reason for the season!
Want support to make it through the holiday season and start the New Year off right? Join the Healthy Holiday Challenge! It is FREE to join and will be going strong into January. Join the Healthy Holiday Challenge now by CLICKING HERE.