Between office parties, family gatherings, and endless baking, your weight loss plan can take a major hit during the holiday season. You worked to lose weight, and you don’t have to gain it back during the holidays by following these tips to stay on track.
Do: Host a holiday party.
If you’re the host, you choose the menu, and there are plenty of seasonal, healthy dishes and appetizers to choose from. Fresh veggies are a healthy complement to your favorite dip, and you can take your dip a healthy step further by swapping sour cream for Greek yogurt. Serve a leaner meat, like turkey, for the main dish, and a fresh fruit dipped in dark chocolate for a heart-healthy dessert.
Don’t: Beat yourself up.
If you do go overboard at a holiday gathering, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes we get caught up in the moment, but you will bounce back. Put it behind you. You can’t undo it, so there is no point in dwelling on it. One day going overboard won’t wreck your weight loss plan. Instead, focus on what you can control: the future.
It’s OK to treat yourself during the holidays. If you’re craving eggnog or a holiday cookie, go for it! If you deprive yourself, you are more likely to binge later. Recognize it’s not an everyday treat, and enjoy it.
Don’t: Set unrealistic expectations.
Goal setting is an excellent weight loss tool, but don’t focus on losing 15 pounds during the holiday season. Focus on practicing moderation and mindful eating instead. If you focus on your food, you may even come out of the holidays on the losing end, but consider maintaining your pre-holiday weight an accomplishment!
Do: Get moving!
Your schedule during the holidays may be crazy, but remember to make time for exercise. Even if you only have 20 minutes, some exercise is better than no exercise. Set your alarm 30 minutes early to squeeze in a walk before work. Not a morning person? Swap some late-night TV time for a family stroll through the neighborhood. You’ll feel great and get in shape!
Don’t: Make excuses to skip an exercise session.
I’m too tired, too hungry, too busy. Don’t let your excuses get in the way of your goals. You have the choice to live healthy. If you’re tired, go to bed earlier. Hungry; have an afternoon snack so you can squeeze in an exercise session. Busy; make exercise part of your busy schedule.
Do: Surround yourself with a positive support system.
The holidays are about spending quality time with your family and friends. These are the people who are most supportive of you. Those who are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off have a strong support system. Let them know you are following a weight loss plan. They will be the encouragement you need to get through the tough days.