Holiday time can be a recipe for weight loss disaster… if you let it.
The bottom line is YOU get to choose if you throw in the towel the last few months of the year and start over in January. It’s also YOUR choice if you keep going at a steady pace with habits that will serve you long after the holidays are gone.
Not only can you choose whether you stay the course, but you choose if you carry on with old dieting habits. Holiday time is the perfect setup for the restrict, binge, guilt cycle chronic dieters experience. You know, eat only lettuce for a day or two. Eat half the batch of cookies you make the next, and then spend the next day or two feeling guilty about how many cookies you ate.
Starting over in January and falling into the dieting mentality only add to your stress. Extra stress isn’t your friend when trying to lose weight. Instead, why not be intentional about how you approach the holiday time? Small tweaks to what you’re already doing will take you a long way… much further than eating lettuce until you feel so deprived you down a half a batch of cookies.
5 Simple Ways to Stay the Course with Weight Loss Over the Holidays
1.Fill your plate with protein, fat, and vegetables
Protein, fat, and vegetables are the trifecta for shutting down hunger hormones. The idea is to crowd out the junk with food that will make you feel energized. Add a little more protein, fat, and vegetables to your meals this time of year. You’re going to be nibbling on treats that you normally wouldn’t be tempted with (hello Christmas cookies and fudge). This trifecta of goodness will shut down the hormones that make you want to eat the entire plate and then some. (But eating a little is ok. See #2 and #3.)
2.Become a food snob
I say go for a treat or two this time of year. (I sure will be.) I know your mother taught you not to be snooty, but in this case I want you to forget about being rude for a second. If you’re going to eat a treat of any kind, ask yourself if it’s the very best you can get your hands on. Go for only THE BEST cheese, the most decadent cookie, the tastiest wine. Skip the crappy stuff. By going for only the best you can get your hands on, you’ll be selective and more intentional about what you eat. Plus you’ll enjoy it more, which is the point. Right?
3.Think Before You Eat or Drink
Before reaching for the cheese ball, pause and ask yourself, “How will this make me feel after I eat this?” I’m not talking about guilt. I’m talking about thinking about how it will make your body feel. Will it drain your energy or will it give you a boost? Will you feel sick later or the next day? If it’s worth it, then go for it. If it’s not, then skip it.
4.Do one thing every day to move
If you find your workout goal is unrealistic this time of year, adjust your goal. Schedule in (yes, write it down) one thing a day you can do to move your body. Don’t have time to break a sweat? No problem. Just move. That might mean walking up and down the stairs an extra time or two. No need to over complicate it. Even 10 minutes will give you a burst of energy, lift your spirits, and stoke your metabolism.
5.Don’t beat yourself up
Do your best to avoid perfectionism during the holidays. (Or ever, but that’s entirely another topic.) When you have perfection in mind, you’re setting yourself up for failure. (Which leads to a snowball of thoughts that makes you feel terrible about yourself. Not helpful.) Instead, when you’ve overdone it on the cookies or had more wine than you planned, own it. Acknowledge it happened and move on. When you spend time beating yourself up you’re just increasing your stress. That’s the last thing you need more of. Plus, stress increases the hormones that make you hold onto fat. Not exactly what you’re going for, right?
I call bunk that you can’t stay on track with weight loss the last few months of the year. Being intentional and carrying on with healthy habits will be keys to your success.
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