The holiday season is chock full of celebrations…all revolving around eating. It’s no wonder some of us feel helpless with all the festive food choices. It’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel. But, I am here to say that several scattered occasions do not have to send you careening off the weight wagon. As long as you remember one important thing when it comes to controlling weight over the holidays…Everyday can’t be a party.
Today is the second part of the Holiday Food Survival Guide. We have all talked about how to approach the loaded holiday table.
It’s easy to adopt the mindset, “Well, I blew it at last night’s party, so I guess the whole month of December is a wash” mentality. Typically, Christmas parties offer an enticing array of rich, sumptuous delicacies that few of us can resist.
Let’s assume that you are planning to attend five Christmas parties plus a New Year’s Eve party this holiday season. That’s six days out of a total thirty-one days when you will likely overeat. So what are you going to do with the remaining 25 days of the month?
What are you eating in between the parties? I have discovered that controlling your weight over the holidays is a balancing act.
If you know that you will be attending a Christmas party on Saturday, it’s time to make a plan for the 2 days before and the 2 days after the party. Make plans to rid your diet of all “extras” for those 4 days.
This means choosing black coffee over fraphchoochoos and passing on the fries for four days.
On top of that, plan to exercise for at least 30 minutes on two of those days. Several of you have told me that it is hard to keep up with a fitness plan during December. Here is where you have to take proactive steps to plan movement into your days.
How many times have I told myself that I would just wait until January to get the weight off?…a lot! Here’s the big problem with this way of thinking. It removes all restrictions to your eating. Most likely, if you pigged out on 6 occasions during the month of December, but kept the rest of the month in check you might likely gain one to two pounds….or maybe none at all! But, if you defer all self control for 31 days, it’s likely you could end up 5 to 10 pounds heavier by January.
Even more damaging than the extra weight, is the feeling of defeat you feel when January rolls around. In essence, putting off your self control by throwing off all restrictions on food just defers the emotional pain.
You may not actually lose weight over the holiday season, but controlling your weight over the holidays is achievable if you aim to keep things even until life gets back to its normal pace in January. Next week we’ll tackle holiday sweets.
I actually learned to make these kinds of choices when I decided to get off of the weight roller coaster two years ago. After years of yo-yo dieting I started a process of journaling to uncover my expectations, assumptions and flawed thinking about food. For years I felt helpless and hopeless against the lure of food…basically, I was acting on my beliefs. Maybe you’ve also wondered why you can’t seem to resist food. If so, I’ve written a book to help others work through the same process as I did…what do you have to lose, but the weight that has frustrated you for years.