Well Black Friday is over and we are now officially in the Christmas season. Meaning that there is food everywhere and that those trying to lose weight are now in full freak out mode. I have compiled some of my favorite, tried and true methods for surviving party after party of temptation without all the guilt, binging, and self loathing.
The simplest, most obvious choice is to use the excess food and rest to your benefit. Plan to intentionally take a break from the gym around Christmas and give your body some well deserved rest. When mixed with an influx of excess calories this well timed break can lead to some phenomenal gym sessions after Christmas. I have broken some serious personal bests following the holidays.
Plan out your cheats based on family functions and parties. If you know you have meals coming up that might not be the healthiest then use these as an opportunity to splurge, instead of indulging at other times. Keep your food choices good the rest of the time.
Remember that alcoholic beverages are a higher calorie treat on their own. I’m not saying stay sober but keep in mind that alcohol lowers your inhibitions. Just like it makes you more inclined to photo copy your butt at the office party, it also makes you more inclined to binge on a bunch of food you probably don’t even enjoy when you are sober. Which brings me to my next point.
If you want to survive the holiday’s guilt free there is one rule that trumps all others; NEVER put anything in your mouth you don’t love. There will be hundreds of treats to choose from over the next month and you don’t have to eat them all. Make sure you love what you are eating and that every bite is as good as the first.
This can cause some problems in certain families where eating is a big deal. If you think your Grandma is going to be upset when you don’t have three servings of her famous fruitcake make sure you talk to her about it before in private. This will allow you to avoid any guilt and pressure during the festivities. Remember to explain that the issue isn’t her and that not eating it doesn’t mean you don’t love her.
If eating in a restaurant or at a party where food is served buffet style take some time to reflect on your options before you put food on your plate. This will keep you from being overwhelmed and over indulging.
Try to eat slowly, this will allow you to recognize when you are full before you overdo it. This is especially true if you are a binge eater. As I have said before, you can binge on whatever you want, nothing is off limits, as long as you do it slowly.
My last tip is also the most important. While the holidays can be an especially trying time for anyone working towards weight loss, it is also a time for celebration, family, and being kind (I’m talking about self love here). We are social creatures and food is a big part of how we socialize. Food is not fuel. Take it easy on yourself, it is not the end of the world if you decide to enjoy that extra slice of pie. What is destructive to a weight loss goal is guilt. Besides, there’s a reason January is my busy season.
Merry Christmas everyone.