With the holidays approaching, many who are focused on weight loss may start to panic. While you want to enjoy yourself while celebrating with family and friends, the last thing you want in your quest to slim down is to pack on extra pounds right now. The best way to avoid this may be to simply relax, and envision the outcome you want.
Why not imagine yourself having a lovely experience while also making reasonable choices and at least maintaining your current weight? This is what the French call “guarding the line.” This approach allows you to enjoy festive meals without setting yourself up to fail by being overly strict. The big trick is to break through the yo-yo diet mindset of “go crazy now, pay later.” The holidays are actually a perfect time to experience the concept of having a good time in proportion with your wellness goals. The key is awareness! For example:
Know your triggers
Like many people, you have probably developed beloved holiday favorites over the years, such as gravy, cheesecake, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc., and while you now may choose plant-based versions, they are still rich, heavy foods. Also, many dishes appear only around the holidays, so they can act like triggers (again, that “overeat now, pay later” mindset we are striving to eradicate!) setting you up to over-indulge. Happily, you can prevent this with conscious eating. Simply savor a moderate portion, knowing you can take leftovers home if you wisely choose pass on “seconds.”Also, be sure to get any recipes you love so you know you can create these dishes whenever you like.
Many people eat to excess during the holidays simply because they feel they can’t say no. Enthusiastic hostesses may urge guests to try everything, enjoy second portions, and gorge on those “special” desserts as well. Learning to politely decline is vital for your health and a trim bod! Express your appreciation of all the culinary efforts, but don’t eat more than you are comfortable with, period. The French simply say, “J’en ai assez pour manger,” which is a polite “I’ve had enough to eat.” Enough said.
Create a plan
Let’s get back to you envisioning a positive outcome for yourself. Take the time to imagine the event, what you want to eat, and how much. You will be amazed at the power this gives you─especially when you enlist your subconscious mind. Visualize your plate, bulked up with salad and veggie sides, as well as samples of rich goodies you like. Set your intention to eat slowly, chat and socialize, and never go for seconds before your body has a chance to register that you’re already full. Most likely, you will find you’ve had enough. Aim for 80% full, rather than stuffed, as food expands in your stomach.
One of the smartest tricks slender people tend to employ is the use of trade-offs. If you think you must have it all, you are likely to overdo it. If, however, you concentrate on what you love, giving something else up in exchange, you actually come out ahead. For example, think of wine and cocktails are dessert, or swap them for a rich side dish. If you skip the libations, you have a bit more wiggle room. Or, if you want that wedge of pie, maybe you choose extra salad and go easy on the candied yam casserole. You get the idea, right?
Compensate with fitness
You’ll be less likely to overeat at special events if you’ve had light, healthy meals earlier that day and remain well hydrated. If you still feel you want to freely partake of your favorites, be sure to bank on exercise. This is an anchor to a fit healthy lifestyle no matter the season! Plan on several good work outs leading up to the festivities. You can also suggest a walk or hike together with loved ones, a great holiday tradition to establish if you have not already done so!
These tips to avoid holiday weight gain will serve you well─all year long. Happy celebrating!