Five Weight Control Tips To Use This Holiday Season
During the busy season, you can have your cake and eat it too. You can drink champagne in excess and indulge in rich foods.
And you can turn the calender page to January and survive the holidays without gaining a single pound. Yes You Can!
Here are my five simple holiday weight strategies. I can guarantee that if you follow them with vigor you won’t wake up in the new year with an “OMG!” on the scale.
1. Plan Ahead
Strategy number one is to plan ahead.
You have the next four weeks to get through. Divide segments by each week and plan/schedule for the following:
- Weekly food menu at home, including food shopping lists and pre-planned home menus
- Schedule exercise times
- Schedule stress control and mindful activities: ex: walking the dog, yoga, downtime, walk in nature
Action: Plan and stick to your food menus, exercise schedule and stress control times. Make these scheduled appointments a priority.
2. Physical Activity
Continue with your normal physical activity is the next key strategy to holiday weight control.
Holiday time is the most important period during the year to use regular exercise as a stress release, for weight control and feel good mood outlets. Forget about January to pump up exercise. It is now during the festive season when you must hit the floor running.
If you don’t do any physical activity why not add a quick half hour walk a few times a week to your weekly planning?
Keeping yourself moving helps to:
- sleep better
- fit into party clothes better
- decrease stress and increase mood
- burn calories
Action: this is where strategy one is important. Plan your weekly exercise schedule and stick with it. If you have to miss your regular exercise time, substitute physical activity on other time during the week.
3. Party Strategy
Use a hunger management strategy at parties is the third way to get through the holidays with a weight control plan.
When you host a party, go to a party or go out for a festive dinner do not arrive the party starving with hunger.
By having a hunger management strategy you begin the party with a small appetite and not starving. Why we do this is because of what happens when we are ravenous with hunger instead of just being normal hungry. Our starving hunger tells our hands to grab the wrong things to eat (such as salty nuts and potato chips). By arriving to the party with a good appetite but not ravenous, your stomach’s brain will let you indulge on lighter and fresher party foods.
For another party strategy, here is an excellent suggestion from Lady In Red and I quote her,
Here’s another trick – drink a glass of water before the holiday party / meal starts. Many times we mistake thirst for hunger. This will slow down your consumption of food. Also, between alcoholic drinks. get a glass of water. Water has no calories, will head off the dehydration from the martinis/wine/beer, will fill you up so you won’t want as much, and your head will thank you the next day!
Action: Have a party strategy planned ahead to keep your hunger under control.
4. Hunger Planning and Portion Control
This fourth strategy requires some advance effort. When you control your hunger, plan for it and listen to it, you will naturally eat smaller portions.
In France there is a culture of meal discipline and not snacking between meals. So we can use this model which I call meal discipline.
Meal discipline means eating regular meals at regular times without the need to snack in between. A meal is a time of détente and to satisfy our hunger without overeating.
By controlling your hunger and not being hungry between meals we can control our urge to snack on festive cakes, chocolates and cookies. Similar to the not arriving to a party ravenously hungry, using regular hunger management helps to not snack and overeat.
Action: Use strategy number one to plan out meals and shop ahead for food. Eat regular meals at regular times and have healthy snacks on hand ‘just in case’ you need it.
5. Power Nap and Enough Sleep
Strategy number five is to try and get enough sleep.
Having enough shut-eye will help with stress, being able to focus and believe it or not, as studies have shown, sufficient sleep helps with weight control.
If you often do not get enough sleep I have my regular habit to share with you: I embrace the art of power napping. A quick when you need it or everyday nap of 10-15 minutes.
Action: Getting regular amounts of sleep or short naps is a strategy towards staying healthy and controlling weight during the holidays.
How to Use These Five Strategies When Traveling or Visiting Family During the Holidays
Being away from home and our regular routine doesn’t mean we can’t have our cake and eat it too. While holiday meals are a moment to sip and savor rich foods and desserts en famille, using the five strategies above you can still enjoy eating with pleasure and balance with keeping in touch with your weight.
Here are some ideas:
- Plan your travel and visiting time to include healthy snacks while on the road. Schedule some time while visiting to take at least a 20 minute daily power walk. Bring the kids, the dog or just do it (alone).
- Party Hunger Management: don’t get too hungry for the parties.
- Physical Activity: Bring your bathing suit andor sneakers in your luggage. You can sneak away for a quick walk or swim at the city’s pool.
- Portion Control: Don’t give into the pressures from family who shows their love by filling up your plate or begging you to take more. If you are full, it is okay to say no.
- Finally, when visiting or traveling it may be impossible to get enough sleep. So do like I do: power nap!
And to help feel better the day after those exceptionally big holiday meals, read an article I posted on detoxing your body after a holiday.
Have I left anything out? Do you have a strategy that you would to share? Please let us know by commenting below this article. Come on back and visit in January and let me know how these strategies worked for you.
Note: This article was edited from a previous published article on weight control during the holidays.
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Happy Holidays and Good Health to All,