Surviving the Holidays
It's all about a plan
It is that time of year again when we look forward to gathering with family
and friends to rejoice in the spirit of the holidays. The joys of the season
are also filled with lots of wonderful food, seasonal goodies, and merriment
that can result in a few extra pounds that wrap around your middle.
Dangerous pounds! Research shows that most adults gain a few pounds over the
holidays, lose one or two of those added pounds, but usually hold onto at least
one pound each year. This slow and steady weight creep finds most adults
overweight by middle age!
Fear not, you can take pleasure in the holidays and indulge in the delicious
foods. The holidays are not a time of deprivation; no one wants to face
Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday party without being able to enjoy his
or her favorite foods. With a little anticipation and a plan in hand, this
year, you can avoid being a victim of the annual holiday trap.
My holiday strategy includes tightening up on my eating plan now,
along with increasing my daily exercise a few weeks before the holidays arrive.
This way, I can splurge a little during the festivities while keeping my weight
within normal range by year's end.
I'm not afraid to enjoy the bounty of wonderful foods at these social
gatherings. I start off by filling my (small) plate with simply prepared, plain
foods such as fruits, vegetables, green salads, grilled meat, roast turkey or
chicken, boiled shrimp, or any seafood. If I choose any high-calorie, high-fat
sauces, gravies, casseroles, or desserts, it's only in small
One plate of healthy food usually fills me up. Before getting up for a
second helping, I wait 10 minutes. If you're like most people, chances are your
desire for more food is not about hunger, but about how good it tastes.
Here's the really good news -- you've already tasted it!
Make Your Plan
Make your own plan by studying the habits of successful dieters. Try some of
these slimming tips and ideas:
- Keep up your regular physical activity and make sure to get in a good
workout on the day of the party or event. NO excuses!
- Be super-diligent on non-party days by sticking closely to your eating
- Eat a small, nutritious snack before leaving for the party. This helps to
take the edge off of your appetite and gives you willpower to resist hors
d'oeuvres, saving your calories for the meal.
- Offer to bring a healthy dish, one you know you can enjoy without lots of
- Buy yourself a fabulous holiday outfit that makes you look great and
celebrates your recent weight loss. Basic solid colors with clean lines are the
- Ladies, carry a clutch handbag that will keep one hand occupied, reducing
the urge to nibble.
- Ladies and gents, wear a comfortable yet tight outfit that will not allow
you to overindulge.
- Watch your alcohol calories -- they add up fast. Alternate alcoholic
beverages with non-calorie beverages such as sparkling water.
- Look over all the food offerings before you decide what you are going to
eat. If there are foods that you love but know are decadently rich, just sample
a tasting portion.
- Use a smaller plate (the dessert plate is good). This tip can help you
reduce the total amount you eat as long as you don't go back for seconds.
- Eat slowly and savor every bite.
- Don't linger around the food table! Move to another location that is less
- Always sit down while you eat.
- Portion control and moderation are the keys to success.