10 Holiday Tips from ~INDYGIRL

By , SparkPeople Blogger
By Beth Donovan (~INDYGIRL)

We've started off a season of food galore! It's everywhere, and it is tempting, yummy, and full of memories and emotions. If youíre an emotional eater like I am, the memories (good and bad) and family gatherings will send you into a frenzy. Party tables lined with delicious and beautifully presented arrays of holiday favorites that would make Martha Stewart jealous are soon to come. Snacking on carrots and knitting to ward off binges aren't going to cut it this time of year--you need an arsenal! Here are 10 of my holiday soothers and boosters in hopes that they help you too. They have helped me to shed weight over the past four holiday seasons. Iíve now lost a total of 144 pounds.

  1. You need to feel good about yourself in order to treat yourself better. Wear clothes, makeup and jewelry that make you feel especially attractive right now. How about a new festive dress? New earrings? Feeling attractive makes you want to act attractive. You'll be more likely to focus on how awesome you feel about yourself rather than desiring to feel stuffed. Splurge on a manicure instead of two fast food meals this week.

  2. DAS: Dress the part. Act the part. Suck it up. That was my first mantra I made to get myself out of bed. Dress the part of who you want to be that day--active or dressy. Act the part--be active or more formal. Suck it up--if people or situations get to you, suck it up and let it out later during a good workout or vent with a friend.

  3. Be a Food Snob. Don't just eat a dessert because it's there; eat the best dessert there. In other words, if you have decided to indulge, indulge in the best you can find and limit yourself to one of the best. Stale cupcakes from a party hour ago? NO! A fresh one with absolutely perfect icing on a day you can plan it into your menu--go for it. Never treat your body like a garbage disposal for leftovers. You deserve the best.

  4. PLAN ahead using the food tracker. Plan for indulgences and keep that food tracker handy! It will keep you focused. If you know you are having goodies later, type them into the tracker in the morning. The rest of the day you can plan around the goodies without guilt. If you go off a little bit, odds are that it won't be nearly as bad as it would have been without the tracker. Think damage control! When you slip with that extra goody, remember one has fewer calories than two.

  5. At buffets or big meals, I go through the first time getting lean meat, vegetables, fruits, and grains. The second time through is for a spoonful of my favorite holiday foods. I have less room and am less hungry since I ate the good stuff first.

  6. Drink! Keep water, tea, or your favorite low-cal beverage handy at all times. A favorite of mine is taking a light cranberry or cherry juice and mixing it with diet 7up to taste. Favorite beverages that are low cal and fit your mood are an excellent way to stay away from treats. There are so many decadent flavors of tea now, and tea is full of antioxidants. Mocktails are cocktails without the alcohol, which can add extra calories. Experiment in your kitchen or look up some beverages on SparkRecipies.com.

  7. Gum helps, too. Get creative with gum and try lots of new flavors. It will help with the constant barrage of candy dishes!

  8. Eat before you go to a party or fancy dinner. I usually have a Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine entrťe or a protein bar before I go to a party or dinner. I arrive satisfied to a point and able to make clear decisions.

  9. Protein+Fiber=Full, so eat lean protein, fruits and veggies as much as possible.

  10. Enjoy as many active things as you can. The holidays are full of active opportunities like shopping, sledding, building snowmen, and making snow angels. If you're home with pain, put on some holiday music and do your cleaning, bed or chair workouts.

Nothing says you canít start a new tradition that isnít centered on food, like making ornaments instead of cookies. Create new healthy habits with your family and pass down the tradition of health and wellness.

Hope these tips help you like they have me!

Do you have any non-food holiday traditions? What are they?

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You are always so inspirational !!! Report
Great blog. I especially like the tip about protein+fiber=full. I already have a hard time gettting enough protein and feeling full helps me to kick my sugar cravings. Thanks for sharing! Report
Beth that was an outstanding blog, thank you. Luckily we don't have alot of holiday festivities planned this year, and that's a help. Certainly with your success story you know of what you speak.

Happy holidays to all

Thanks Beth! Posting a link today for our You On A Diet Holiday Survival Challenge! This gives us some great strategies to use! Report
Great blog Beth - reminds me of the "fake it 'til you make it" saying. Our minds are very powerful and can help us get to our goals! Report
very helpful thank you so much! Report
Great Blog. Thanks for sharing. Report
Very well said!!! Thanks for the tips!! Report
Thanks, Indygirl Report
My favorite non-food holiday tradition: Many many years ago when I was in graduate school, I and my 2 best friends started attending the Sing-along (audience participation!) Messiah performance every year by the Boulder Messiah Chorale. I and one of those friends, and now my husband too, still go every year and sing our hearts out to the glory of God.

The intermission offers various herbal teas, but they don't allow food in the sanctuary, so no edible temptations are lurking in the kitchen area. Report
Great tips! I am planning to work out every morning because I've noticed that helps me stay on track~ Report
Good tips, especially eating the lean meat and low cal items first. I am planning to have steamed veggies instead of the casserole, and I will fill up on that and the lean meat first before the stuffing and rolls. Report
Good tips, especially eating the lean meat and low cal items first. I am planning to have steamed veggies instead of the casserole, and I will fill up on that and the lean meat first before the stuffing and rolls. Report
Thanks for the great tips! I love the "looking the part" tip... and a new festive dress? I think I will buy one tomorrow! Report
We always watch the "Ralph" movie and Chevy Chase's "Christmas Vacation." Report
Thanks for the great blog. Some of the things I already have done in the past and few I will try this year. Report
As a child one of my favorite things to do after a large holiday meal at my grandmother's was to go for a walk. There was a playground about 4 blocks away that we would play at but honestly what I really enjoyed was the walk.

This year I am going out to Indian buffet with my future in-laws and I think I am going to try to re-institute the after dinner walk. We live in a great neighborhood for walking. Hopefully the weather will cooperate :) Report
I can't really think of a non-food holiday tradition! Maybe we need to start one! Report
fabulous tips, and so true. Report
Great tips, thanks for sharing. Report
Great Blog, Last year my wife and I went for what turned into a three mile walk after our Thanksgiving Meal. This year we are doing a Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot, reframe the day. Report
Very helpful list, Beth! Thanks for sharing! Report
GREAT ideas! The only one I know won't work for me is eating pre-party. I always end up eating party food, whether I had a snack beforehand or not... so I'd rather just go to the party hungry so I can really enjoy the meal and not indulge thinking, "Great, now I'll be over on calories." Report
Great advice as always! I gained weight over the holidays last year and I'm STILL struggling to get it off. I will NOT let that happen again! Report
Great advice! I have been worrying about the holiday season and how I will do with it Report
Fantastic ideas! I especially love #1. I tend to get down on myself because I weigh more than I like and I dress like I'm trying to hide instead of feel elegant. Of course, that just makes me throw in the towel and indulge at parties, since I already feel it doesn't matter. I'm looking forward to trying your approach! Report
Funny, I was just thinking of you this AM and was wondering how you were doing...guess I now know!

Great blog... Like many of the others, I'll be following your great suggestions... I'm going to print copies - one for the fridge, one for my desk, and one for a co-worker who will just love it...

Many thanks and Happy Thanksgiving ! Report
Thank you for sharing this will defintely help me Report
Awesome BLOG and the best advice. Mant thanks for sharing. Report
Great info, thx for sharing!!

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!! Report
Thanks a lot. These are very good suggestions to read and reread. Report
wow like ur idea ty for planting great ideas Report
excellent advice!!! I am definitely going to use these this holiday season. So many times I end up beating myself up over food choices during the holidays. This blog reminded me that this is a time to celebrate and have fun and eating healthy can make the holidays BETTER not worse :) Report
Great tips, Beth! I'm going to use #3 and #10, especially! Report
Love all the tips. It's all about having a positive attitude and focusing on your goal "even though" it's holiday time. Happy holidays and much success to all!! Report
Beth, excellent suggestions for getting through this challenging time! Thank you for your thoughts. I plan to incorporate several of them to get through to the other side of the holidays with the scale still being my friend and not my enemy until January 2. Report
Another suggestion - bring a calorie/diet friendly dessert along that you can indulge in without guilt! You don't have to tell your fellow guests that it is healthy! Have a serving and let the others take care of the rest! Report
Thank you so much for the suggestions! I also find that if you are drinking your water you are not as likely to eat as much.

our tradition: My grandsons like to rake the leaves up into a pile and then jump and roll in them, then we rake them up again. Report
This really helps. I'm not trying to lose weight right now - I got pregnant at the end of the summer - but I need to watch my gain closely so that I don't gain too much. I usually gain ten pounds between the end of October and the start of February, and that's my entire pregnancy goal! This holiday season is going to be trying. Although, with a baby pushing everything above it into my stomach, eating less at a sitting is getting easier and easier! Report
That really was a great read!! Thanks for the excellent tips!!! Report
Really great post! Thanks for all the tips! I plan to use them this holiday season. Report
Excellent post. I especially love the part about being a food snob! Growing up I was taught never to waste food regardless if it tasted good or not. If it is on your plate you were to eat it because there are people in the world starving. Report
Great ideas. Really challenging at this time of year. I just made 5 pounds of fudge that I was requested to bring to my grandchildrens school for their Christmas Bazaar. I am glad to help, happy it will be out of the house. I am also making Thanksgiving Dinner for 17 people. Leftovers must leave. Report
Excellent suggestions especially for the upcoming season! Report
I LOVE your buffet/big meal suggestion!! Totally going to try that next time. Thank you! Report
Great tips, especially the one's about "acting the part". Dress up, be a food snob, and going through the line for healthy food first. Of course water--always! Report
Great ideas!! Report
I love those! Thank you so much for sharing! I'm definitely dress and act the part :) Report
thanks for the good advice, I like the looking the part one!! Report
We make salt dough Christmas ornaments every year, using the Christmas cookie cutters. Very festive! I give them as gift tags on presents to coworkers and neighbors. Report
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