Monday, October 19, 2009

Holiday Tips to Maintain Weight Loss and even Lose Weight

To make the Holiday Season a healthier one, experts say, it's important to do three things: Practice awareness, manage your stress and emotions, and plan in advance.

Imagine how you'll feel on New Year's Day when you begin the New Year knowing you got through the Holidays and you didn’t gain any weight or perhaps you lost weight! This is the beginning of what is the hardest time of the year for most….including me to keep the weight off.

So, keep your weight loss goals in mind daily. Empower yourself…. Be in control…..I personally stay on track by weighing every morning around the same time. This tells me where I am for the day and what I need to do. If I am up a couple of pounds I know to really watch my caloric intake, make sure I am getting my water in and definitely exercise. We can all do this…but it isn’t magic…

Create a plan ahead of time. Before the holidays sneak up on you, incorporate fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine and stick to it.

Schedule time to exercise. The best way to avoid weight gain from Halloween to New Year is to stay on track with your regular exercise routine. It's a busy time of year for everyone, but don't lose sight of the bigger picture. Where you want to be! Mark your exercise on your calendar and set-aside time to complete it. Consider your exercise appointments as important as any other appointment or event you have marked on your calendar. And if you have to cancel your exercise for some reason do what you do with other important appointments….put it back into your schedule somewhere else. If you have to do a shorter version of your regular routine do it, some exercise is better than none. Also you can use stairs instead of elevators and escalators will add to your overall workout. Park your car further from the entrance of a store. We also know there are many benefits to exercise besides the physical ones of burning calories; it can help with stress and elevate your mood and help you sleep better. Who couldn’t use that this time of year!

If you are going to a party bring a Healthy Dish - This is one way to ensure you'll have something healthy to eat, while sharing something nutritious with your family and friends. If you're tempted by desserts or feel the pressure to join others in eating them, bring a healthy dessert as well. This way you will not feel deprived.

Eat Before You Go - A common strategy for attacking a holiday meal or party is to skip breakfast and lunch, this way when the party gets started there is plenty of room to indulge in an abundance of junk food for the rest of the day. This way of thinking doesn't really work for someone who is trying to avoid eating foods that are harmful to the body. Instead, it would make more sense to start off the day with a hearty protein based breakfast. Also, to avoid having to eat more compromised foods than you'd like to, eat a small protein based meal before you leave for the party.

At the party use a smaller plate (tricks your mind into thinking you are eating more than you really are). Start with lean protein, veggies and fruit, and then go to the dessert table and partake in the healthy dessert you brought. (Avoid second and third servings by walking away from the food. I know it is hard sometimes but be conscious of what you eat and how much, When there's a lot of food available.

Learn to say "no," in a courteous manner, to activities and food that aren't in your best interest. Many people think food is love, and we know it isn’t.
People may grow to respect it, and may even emulate it.

Limit alcoholic beverages. (We don’t do well with alcohol anyway) Drinking at parties may be tempting, but it will be hard to maintain your weight through the holidays if you indulge in too many alcoholic beverages. Set a limit of one or two drinks and then switch to water to prevent dehydration and save on the calories). Spend the rest of the party walking around with a full glass of water with a lemon wedge. Keeping your hands occupied accomplishes two purposes: first, the hosts will not ask if you need a drink (you have one), and second, it’s harder to eat with one hand wrapped around a glass.

You might consider having the Party at Your House - This is the best way to ensure that you'll have something healthy to eat while celebrating the holidays with your friends and family. Hosting a party gives you a little more control over what kind of foods will be served. Suggest that your guests bring salads or some of the healthier family favorites. And you can provide recipes that you have altered to make healthier. . Reduce the fat in holiday recipes. There are plenty of low fat and low calorie substitutes that are amazingly tasty. Try using applesauce in place of oil in your favorite holiday breads; use egg substitutes in place of whole eggs; try plain nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream. Magazines are full of reduced calorie and reduced fat holiday recipes. Give them a try, and share your cooking creations with friends and family.

Take the Focus Off of Food - Make celebrating the holidays with your family and friends more about fun, and fellowship rather than grazing on food. Bring some games that get everyone involved; Plan in advance for everyone to bring an ornament or small gift to do an exchange game. Sharing stories, looking through old photos or activities such as making scrapbooks, wreaths or ornaments is always fun. Celebrate traditions that don't involve eating.

When running errands or shopping perhaps eat something before you go and pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home.

In conclusion remember these tips…perhaps post them somewhere so it will remind you. You can stay on track maintain your weight and even lose weight…

Have a wonderful holiday!!


1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up if you fall off the wagon just jump back on
2. Don’t Skip Your Workout
3. Don’t Eat Mindlessly
4. Buy Healthy Food
5. Don’t Shop Hungry
6. Don’t use Food as Entertainment
7. Don't Skip Meals

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