“How am I going to get through the holidays?”
Many people come to me over the holidays asking me the same question. “How am I going to get through the holidays without gaining any weight?”
It can be hard to make good choices around this time of year, especially when it comes to food and drink. Yes, there are going to be moments where you eat food that you normally don’t eat and that’s ok, as long as you can be reasonable about it.
All of my tips for getting through the holiday social gatherings are based on the idea of mindfulness. You want to remain cognisant about what you are consuming and why. If you are eating and drinking to ease stress, because you are feeling social pressure, or without even noticing or thinking about it, then this is a sure-fire path to weight gain over the next few weeks. But not to worry, you can enjoy holiday gatherings and the wonderful treats that they bring, without gaining extra pounds.
There are as many different strategies to promote mindfulness as there are triggers that spark overeating. The trick is to find the ones that resonate with you. The most important thing is to plan ahead. Start by mapping out your social activities on a calendar – map out your workouts while you’re at it. This allows you to strategically plan your meals so you can take into account the extra calories that you may be consuming later in the day or in the coming days. Planning ahead will increase your awareness and keep those holiday fat pounds from getting out of hand.
A few ideas to get the wheels turning
Everyone is different when it comes to these strategies, choose the ones that might work for you:
- Eat before you go out
- Eat really really slowly
- Stop when you feel full
- Talk to people – sometimes, we eat to fill in the gaps when we have nothing to say. Talking about the food and asking for details on how it was made can help deflect a pushy host or relative who is trying to get you to eat more.
- Step outside for some fresh air
- Drink more glasses of water than you do booze
- Hang around the veggie and fruit platters, eat as much from those as you wish
- Have one dessert
- Exercise more the day after, but not before as this could lead to overeating
- Give yourself a timeline when you can eat, for example 8pm-8:30pm
Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself! Relax, eat mindfully, have some holiday cheer and enjoy the company of other people. Really, it is ok to have one small piece of cake after dinner but having two or three…. well that’s the difference between gaining only one pound over the holidays and gaining the average 5-6 lbs.
Posted by Burke