10 Strategies to Stay Thin Throughout the Holidays!
Get enough sleep. Our bodies store more calories as fat when we’re sleep deprived. When we are tired, we turn to food as comfort, consuming more calories than when we’re well rested.
Don’t skip meals. It not only slows down your metabolism, If you skip meals, you’ll be hungrier and more likely to overindulge later in the day. Eat healthy, balanced meals and protein-based snacks and you’ll find it easier to stay in control.
Plan ahead. When going to a dinner party, call ahead to find out what foods will be served so you can plan your strategy. Offer to bring a healthy, delicious side dish you know you can enjoy without guilt. Skip the carby sauces, glazes and gravies. At buffets, only put a healthy portion on your plate with good choices and stay away from the buffet. No more trips. Keep a calorie-free beverage near you the whole time.
If you start to feel out of control, breathe and even step away and relax. Remind yourself that you are in control of your choices. Think about the benefits of making healthier choices, and pay attention to why you’re eating. Are you really hungry, or are you tired, angry, or bored?
Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water every day. We often think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty. Water cleanses your system, curbs appetite, and reduces fluid retention. Drinking water can also increase your energy level. The dehydration that occurs when you don’t consume enough fluid can cause you to feel less energetic and become more easily fatigued.
Avoid or limit alcoholic beverages. Besides being high in calories, alcohol tends to trigger carbohydrate cravings and hunger, and can diminish your resolve to stick to your eating plan. Alcohol also interferes with your body’s ability to burn stored fat for fuel. Stick with calorie-free soda or mineral water with a slice of lemon and you’ll save yourself hundreds of empty calories. If you do indulge, mix alcohol with something calorie-free such as water, diet soda or tonic, or sparkling water.
Avoid the temptation to have “just one bite.” For many of us, it’s easier to avoid certain foods entirely than to try to eat them in moderation. We all know what our “trigger foods” are, so watch out.
Stay away from buffets and party platters. Out of sight doesn’t necessarily mean out of mind, but it’s a lot easier to resist those high-calories hors d’oeuvres and holiday sweets when they’re across the room.
Move your body! Plan to take a brisk 10-15 minute walk three times a day—you’ll burn calories, reduce stress, and feel great. Wear a pedometer and see how many steps you can log in a day. Maybe joining a walking club will motivate you.
Give yourself permission to stress less and do less. One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves this time of year is the permission to slow down and focus on those things that really give us the greatest joy. Decide which traditions have the greatest meaning to you and your family and ask whether the way you spend time and money aligns with those values. Take a deep breath and let the deeper meaning of the holidays into your heart.
Tomorrow is the biggest day of the year for restaurants. Mother’s Day. Everyone takes mom out to eat or has something at home. It can be disturbing to a diet, if you allow it.
Remember that you can eat, but you should stick to portion control and carb control. If you do more carbs at that one meal, keep a count of them and work it out to have less throughout the day. Keep in mind the amount between 50-100. You can have a great omelette, but try to steer clear of buffets or eating all of the buffet food.
Stick to eggs, bacon, sausage and try to avoid the bread, potatoes, pancakes and waffles. Have a bite, but you do not need to eat a whole piece.
Ask for replacement items like sugar-free syrups, non-dairy creamer for coffee instead of milk and Splenda for sugar.
Have fruit and/or grilled tomatoes instead of bread or potatoes.
So, what if someone bought a cake and you feel you must have some. Get a sliver and only eat a piece of it or half of it. Don’t ruin your diet to make other people happy. Your gaining weight isn’t going to make or break someone else, but it will upset you. You could also bring your own desert, like Splenda chocolate pudding or low-carb ice cream that you buy or prepare the day before you go. You just let your host know in advance or when you get there that you are on a special eating plan and that this is your desert. No one has to know it is a diet. I have said things like, “I have to eat gluten-free now” or “I am not allowed sugar for now.” Telling people that a doctor ordered you to do something or that you are allergic to something usually shuts them up from their usual sabotage tactics to get you to be bad about choices like they are doing.
Eat, but pick and choose and don’t be greedy. You are working to be low-carb and those high carb and sugar items will only make you feel worse later.
Remember: Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels! Don’t use holidays to blow that!
Oh, and have a Happy Mother’s Day. It is about the company and not the food! Keep reminding yourself about that.
At the end of the week of 4 days (usually only 3) of a restricted diet, and one all protein day, I lost 5.5 pounds. I am back to normal carb controlled eating. I will work hard to restrict myself to closer to 50g of carbs a day and try not to go to the upper level of 100g a day because I still want to lose 3 pounds in order to be closer to my all-time weight goal. It is always work. You can’t just give up. If I can lose weight, anyone can. I lose very slowly and my body LOVES holding onto the weight with my sluggish thyroid.
At the end of the day, you have to work on your motivation. It is KEY in weight control.
It is Easter and I am not going to indulge in traditional Easter candy. I have no idea who came up with the idea as candy being attached to high holy holidays. “It is the day Jesus was born–have some chocolate.” “It is the day he has risen, have some chocolate.” And then, “it is your birthday, so have some cake.” We should focus more on spending time on things that we can do physically. “It is a holiday, let’s meet up with family or good friends and go for a walk and talk.” That is so much better for everyone involved.
Do something fun. Change the way you do things. Don’t teach children that when it is a holiday, they have to get a basket of candy or chocolate. They can color eggs and have fun, but come on everyone. Let’s change the way we do things in order to teach ourselves and our children better HABITS.
There is a lady in my Pilates class who discusses holiday foods like they are part of her holiday orgasm, but she also is very heavy and used to be even heavier–plus her husband suffers from diabetes. How has candy and chocolate associations to holidays helped out her life? Everyone who I know who is into all of this candy, has someone larger or ill in their home. So, think about it. What is wrong with special Easter omelets and turkey sausage with some delicious coffee?
If you want to look good and feel good, and teach your family to do the same….take a chance and change the way you do things. Change traditions. Not all are good. Teach motivation and discipline. I often get told that I have amazing discipline. You just have to teach yourself and coming from a disciplined father, I am sure a lot rubbed off on me. Do the same for your family.