Whether or not you typically struggle with your weight, the holidays can be a challenging time of year for eating healthy. The average holiday weight gain is just 1-2 pounds but preventing that weight gain would be ideal!
Here are five tips to maintain your weight over the holidays:
1. Adjust your expectations Don’t set a weight loss goal over the holidays. Of course, if you have a history of complying perfectly to a specific way of eating in all situations, without being tempted by arrays of delicious holiday treats, then by all means give it a try. But for most of us, losing weight over the holidays is next to impossible, for a variety of reasons. So, set a goal to MAINTAIN your weight. You’ll avoid all sorts of unnecessary guilt and stress.
2. Set reasonable goals for behaviors and habits that contribute to your overall weight maintenance goal. If you currently work out 4 days per week, then dropping down to 1 time per week is probably not going to help you maintain your weight. (Of course, workouts at 4G are so much fun anyway that you would never want to drop down to once per week!) Or if you already drink “enough” water, try building on that and adding one extra glass per day. Focus on being consistent with or slightly improving healthy habits that you already have in place.
3. Resolve to enjoy one small intentional indulgence every day. And don’t label it a “cheat”. Mindfully enjoy it. There are plenty of Christmas treats available that aren’t necessarily available during the rest of the year. But saying “I’m not going to have ANY of those treats” is only going to backfire on you. You’ll get to a holiday party and see all the delicious stuff you’ve been avoiding… and probably cave in and eat way more of those treats than if you had just indulged a little bit each day. There are all kinds of things going on in your subconscious that cause this, including deprivation, scarcity mindset, guilt, and more.
4. Be a gracious guest and offer to bring something. And that should be something you feel good about eating. Veggies and hummus/dip, lettuce salad, or a lean protein like chicken meatballs.
5. Be aware of alcohol consumption. Consider that many alcoholic beverages are simply liquid calories, plus alcohol can inhibit your judgment, logic, and self-control (“How many truffles did I have so far? Ah, whatever. I’ll work it off in the gym tomorrow.”)
How will you maintain your weight this holiday season?