This will be the second holiday season I’ve enjoyed while maintaining my weight loss efforts. Whether you’re working hard to shed pounds or just to maintain a certain healthy lifestyle (or both!), the holiday season makes it pretty difficult to stay on track. From Halloween to Thanksgiving and then Christmas – with all the pumpkin, caramel and chocolate goodies, the casseroles, hams and mashed potatoes – not to mention all the parties and special holiday events, food that is not on your healthy eating plan seems to be everywhere!
I have seven practical tips and one major rule that I apply to the holiday season. Here’s how I plan to enjoy the holidays without ditching my diet – and how you can, too!
- Send party leftovers home with your guests
- Graciously decline to take leftovers home when you’re the guest
- Stock the fridge and pantry with plenty of healthy options
- Eat a healthy and filling breakfast to get the day off to a good start
- Plan ahead for work parties or other food-centric functions so you’re not starving. Eat a snack and drink plenty of water before the event, and you’ll find the junk food isn’t quite as tempting
- Carry snacks in your purse or car for times when errands or meetings run long
- Think through the nutritional cost (calories, fat, sugar) of something before ordering or accepting it – this always deters me from ordering a white chocolate mocha or eating a donut! Today’s choices determine tomorrow’s circumstances.
Here is the number one rule that I applied last year and that I’ll be applying this time as well: indulge in holiday food on the holiday only.
On Thanksgiving Day I’ll help myself to a plate full of carbs, gravy and dessert. On November 27, I will not indulge in carbs, gravy or dessert. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I’ll follow suit and enjoy the food. December 26 will be back to the normal fare of oatmeal, salads and sensible portions. It is a wonderful thing to be able to enjoy those delicious days without feeling guilty, either while eating or the next day!
I have exciting news to share: as of this week, I’ve lost 15 pounds! Being two inches shy of 5 feet tall, 15 pounds is a big deal! 🙂 I set out on my weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey on September 1, 2016 – you can read more about it here. Last holiday season I carried out my eating goals in relative secrecy. Now that I’ve made my weight loss journey a public affair, I’m heading into this year’s holiday season with the eyes of the internet upon me. You all have been very supportive and encouraging – and for that I’m so grateful! I was really nervous to let the world in on my secret, but it’s been worth it for the encouragement I’ve been able to give and to receive!
Here’s to a great holiday season with good food and good choices!