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Ditch the Holiday Drama Around Weight and Eating

Nov 25, 2020

Are you someone who anticipates gaining weight around the holidays? If you are, you are not alone! I think many people anticipate unhealthy eating and weight gain around the holidays which, when you stop to think about it, is not a good strategy. Our thoughts create the results we get in our lives. If we go into the holiday thinking we will gain weight, guess what will happen? You got it…we WILL gain weight. 


I am going to suggest a different approach for you to take this holiday season that won’t result in weight gain, yet won’t leave you feeling deprived either. The reason why most of us tell ourselves that we will gain weight during the holiday season is because we anticipate having food we would normally not eat available to us. We anticipate lots of delicious, yet not so healthy, side dishes. We anticipate appetizers and desserts we would not normally eat, we anticipate eating larger portions than we would normally eat, and maybe drinking more alcohol than we would normally drink.


All of those things are a reality for many of us. Our get togethers are about coming together around a meal and many people want to contribute, making for lots of food on the table. If this is your reality, the key is to change the thoughts you have about it. Instead of thinking something like, “I always gain weight during the holidays” or, “I know I will gain weight during the holidays” or, “I am going to have to figure out how to lose the weight I will gain around the holidays”, consider thinking, “I am going to enjoy foods I don’t normally eat, while still taking care of my body” or, “I will decide ahead of time what I will eat so that I get to enjoy everything while maintaining my weight”.


The key is to come up with a thought that works for you. You have to believe it. What you think will create the feelings you have about eating during the holidays. How you feel will impact what actions you take, and what actions you take will lead to the results you get. If you believe you can enjoy the holidays, eat well, but still take care of yourself and not gain weight…guess what will happen?


Below are some strategies for you to consider if you are wanting to avoid gaining weight during the holidays.

  • Come up with a thought that will get you the result you want. Per the discussion above, decide what you are going to think about eating and weight gain during the holidays.


  • Consider upping your exercise game to offset the extra calories you may be consuming. Last year, on Thanksgiving morning I did a long workout. I felt great and it allowed me to give myself permission to eat more than I normally would at a meal.


  • Decide what you will / will not have ahead of time. Even if you don’t know all of the exact food that will be available, to the best of your ability, decide what you will eat and visualize it. For example, I would rather have potatoes and stuffing than dessert. Therefore, I decide ahead of time that I will skip dessert and enjoy the side dishes.


  • Remember that alcohol can cause weight gain and also increase your inhibition that may cause you to eat more. Plan if / what you will drink ahead of time and stick to it.


  • Don’t have seconds. This can be tricky but if you plan not to have any seconds, it becomes much easier. The best way to do this is to fill your plate, decide if you have everything you will want, and then commit to enjoying only what is on your plate for one serving.


  • Make something that is both healthy and satisfying. If you are trying to be healthy and stay in some sort of a routine with the types of food you are eating, make something healthy so that you know you have at least one healthy option.


Eat slowly. Enjoy your company and the conversation. Be present and appreciate who you are getting to spend time while enjoying your food. When you eat slowly, you are more likely to enjoy the food and also to not overeat.


Hydrate. Be sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout each day. Holidays are no exception. Water helps you feel full, helps keep things moving as they should inside of you, and helps you from becoming dehydrated which can make you feel sluggish, but it can also trick you into thinking you are hungry when you are not. 

If you can learn how to make a plan for your eating and stick with it, you will be well on your way to eliminating weight struggles forever. If you can do this during the holiday season, imagine what you can do during regular times! You’ve got this. 


If you are looking for additional tips to help you with weight loss, get my FREE Guide: 5 Steps to Kickstart Your Weight Loss HERE.


You've got this!


~ Karen

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