Masterful Mindsets – Holiday Gatherings Can Lead to Holiday Gains

“To eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art.”  ~ La Rochefoucauld


Do you use the excuse of “holidays” to overindulge? Do you want to keep from gaining extra weight during the holidays? Do you have a smart plan to eat intelligently this holiday season?

Action Challenge:

The holidays are certainly meant to be enjoyed and that often means getting together with friends and family. But those gatherings can easily lead to unwanted weight gain if you aren’t careful. Sure there are special holiday foods that you may only enjoy this time of year, but don’t let that be an excuse to splurge too much and sabotage your healthy lifestyle. You’ll regret it later and find yourself frantically trying to set unrealistic resolutions to get rid of all that extra weight in the New Year.

If you’ve worked hard this year to achieve weight loss goals or just choose a healthy lifestyle in general, then why put yourself in a position to let those holiday get-togethers cost you extra pounds that leave you back at square one and feeling guilty for letting it happen? Especially when all it takes is a little effort to stay on course and still enjoy yourself…

So how do you do that?

Treat yourself but don’t cheat yourself!

First of all, it’s okay to enjoy but do it in moderation.  Be selective about what you are going to splurge on and choose wisely.  Try to pick smart foods at parties and perhaps volunteer to bring a dish so that you know there will be a healthy choice there to eat.  Another good tip for holiday gatherings is to eat a good meal before going out.  If you do that instead of waiting until you are famished to eat, you’ll consume a lot fewer calories.  And if it is a buffet or hors d’oeuvres party, be sure to get one plate, eat what’s on it and be done.  Don’t graze! (That’s how farmers fatten up their animals.) You would be shocked at how many extra calories you ingest without even knowing it. So don’t graze!

Also, if you are attending gatherings where alcohol is available, be aware that alcohol has a lot of empty calories.  So drink in moderation as well.  A good rule of thumb is to alternate a glass of water between each drink.  It will not only keep the pounds off but it will keep the headache away the next morning too. 😉  In addition, be selective about what you chose to drink and what you chose to mix your alcohol with.  Light colored alcohol usually has fewer calories as well as light colored mixers.  For example, juice or pop contains a lot more sugar and calories than seltzer water.

Lastly, emotional and stress eating are two of the biggest causes of weight gain.  And the holidays often bring about both.  A simple way to overcome the urge to eat when stressed or emotional is to be aware when the feelings arise and have healthy alternatives. Call a friend, meditate, journal and of course don’t forget to exercise -it’s a great way to relieve stress during the season. Not only that but it also increases your energy levels and certainly helps maintain healthy weight control. Plus the endorphins that are released during exercise will lift your mood. So it’s an all around healthy solution to heightened emotions and stress this time of year. And hey, we can all use the extra energy to get those additional holiday tasks done.

So my challenge to you this holiday season, is to be smart and plan ahead. Don’t allow the extra holiday gatherings to bring about extra holiday gain. Here are the main tips to remember: 

  • Eat and Drink in Moderation
  • Be Selective – Make Healthy, Lower Calorie, Low Fat Choices
  • Eat Before You Go Out or Bring a Healthy Option With You
  • Don’t Graze – Be Aware of What You’re Consuming
  • Have Healthy Alternatives for Emotional and Stress Eating
  • Exercise Daily for Optimal Physical and Emotional Health

Following these tips will keep you on the right track for adding extra joy to your holidays and not extra pounds.  Happy Holidays!

***I want to hear from you… Share your tips for staying healthy during the holidays and your thoughts about this week’s topic below!