I don't treat the holidays different than any other day. Take Halloween for example- I had no struggle with whether or not I should eat ____ candy. I just asked myself, if it wasn't Halloween, would I even be thinking of this junk? NO.
So when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I look at it the same day. I see no reason to indulge in fudge and pies and holiday cookies, etc. I'll enjoy ONE meal on Thanksgiving, and ONE meal on Christmas eve. That's it. There's just no need to drag it out and overeat for days and days. Some people say "Oh, I just can't sit there with the family and not join in. It's a social thing!" Blah blah blah. After those fruit cakes are gone, everybody is still going to be EXACTLY the same, except they'll be stuffed full and guilty, and you can feel empowered and strong.
I don't feel sad when I don't join in all the eating. I feel good. And I know that tomorrow I'm going to be closer to my goals, not further away. Not to mention, when I eat crappy (delicious) food, not only do I feel like crap, but it throws me off track for DAYS. If I eat one buttered sweet roll, I'm going to crave breads like crazy for at least 3 or 4 days. And breads are a big trigger food for me, and a no no in my diet. I can still enjoy myself and have a great time without being a total fatty.
I know some people will disagree, but this is just what works for me.
Fitness Minutes: (924)
112 11/13/12 4:16 P
I drink a glass of water before I eat my meal so that I am not as hungry. I also am big on portion control - if all my food is touching I know I have way too much. So I make sure that there is plenty of space between each food; so I generally end up with a spoonful or two of each item at the most. If I feel like I want seconds, I force myself to wait at least 15-20 minutes, and generally by that time I don't want it anymore.
Fitness Minutes: (86,673)
4,682 11/13/12 4:10 P
Distracting myself in the midst of all the wonderful aromas is important. I try to keep my hands busy helping out, or settle into a good discussion...then it's lots of water, salad and/or veggies and very small portions of each special recipe made by family and friends. I still track of my choices, but allow for indulgences, knowing I must "go light" and do extra exercises over the next week or more. It also helps to prepare by being on the low end of caloric intake on the days before that holiday.
Fitness Minutes: (1,353)
1,596 11/7/12 8:04 P
My "secret" trick is the same trick I use before going out to eat or going to the grocery store.
I eat a big healthy salad or sandwich or something filling before going. Then I can eat a small amount at a party or at dinner (If I order a meal, I take half or more home). On holidays, I make sure not to waste my calories on food I could have any other day. I will allow myself a small portion of something I normally wouldn't get (Like 1 or 2 pierogis or a small piece of cheescake). I also eat at the low end of my calorie range the rest of the week to even things out (like if your range is 1200-1450, I would aim for 1200) and I step up the exercise and my steps on my pedometer on that week.
Also, I don't stretch out the holiday food to two months. Meaning, I am not eating holiday cookies at work. I make sure it's a once a week treat in moderation during the holidays. I lost weight after my son was born and I started right before Halloween and lost weight over the holidays with those tips even though people at work brought lots of candy, cookies, breads and other sweets. I just made sure I brought my healthy lunch and snack, and when people pushed food on me I would say "I'll have some later" or I'll take it home for tonight... and then I'd give it to friends.
Good luck! Try the eating fruit and veggies trick before the party, it helps to portion control when you aren't super hungry!
Fitness Minutes: (85)
13 11/7/12 2:57 P
I seem to stay on track pretty good. I usually eat what we have on Thanksgiving and Christmas but watch my portions and eat off a saucer. Drink about 2-3 glasses of watr before eating helps also.
Fitness Minutes: (318,517)
95,515 11/6/12 6:28 P
For me it's actually easier for some reason.. portion control. Plus, with parties, etc., I'm pretty sociable..so I talk instead of eating. That helps.
I also have worked to make most of the foods I make healthy.. with portion control that helps.
We have a huge open house for Christmastime every year.. usually about 120 people and I do all the food prep... and always find at the end of the day that I've eaten maybe two bites... and I lose weight that week.
I do avoid a few things.. I love eggnog but it's not worth the calories, so I ignore it. I make hot spiced wine for parties but I cut the wine fifty-fifty wtih crystal lite (don't groan till you've tried it) and heavily spice it (like the flavorings in Germany's gluhwein).... I bake a lot but give most of it away. No fruitcake... (not a great loss to me)
I ALWAYS eat breakfast so holiday season is no different. The only lavish breakfast is on Christmas morning;
Christmas Eve we do a huge Mexican menu... it's been our soul food no matter where the Army sent us, though finding tortillas in Turkey was challenging!... that's probably the only time I truly overeat. Christmas Day is often leftovers or a ham, which is not that bad.
And I am conscious of my exercise. This year the fitbit will keep me even more on track.
Happy Holidays to you all!
Fitness Minutes: (41,732)
4,507 11/6/12 2:10 P
We split our holiday time: Thanksgiving this year is with my family; Christmas will be with DH's family (out of state).
The upside of not being home for the holidays is that I don't really want the 'family favorites' of my in-laws. I want mom's cooking! So when I'm with the in-laws, I eat very little (I usually make a really good salad as my contribution to the family meal, and eat that). There is also a nice park, and our dogs need exercise, so I go to the park for at least an hour every day.
When I'm at mom's, I also volunteer to make the salad. I eat LOTS of salad and have a taste of the other stuff. I do take the leftover cranberry sauce (it's awesome mixed with Greek yogurt!)
there will always be some social function you can use as an excuse, so it's best to just stick to your plan. Enjoy in moderation. And if you partake too much don't use that as an excuse to just hang it up until the new year.
I NEVER say no to foods I love. I used to and I just ended up hating life LOL. I LOVE food and I hate "diets". For me it's all about portion control. If I want a piece of pecan pie (my FAVORITE holiday treat) then I am going to have some of it. If I eat more than I should I will add some extra weight to my bar at BodyPump class or run an extra mile (or 5 LOL). Beating yourself up for something you ate is silly. If you feel bad after eating something then tell yourself next time you wont eat as much of it.
I eat what is served on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I don't load my plate up and eat gobs of everything, I take small portions of each thing I'd like to eat. The rest of the season I eat normal healthy stuff. I don't bake like I used to either.
Thanksgiving is not hard to stay on track for me. Because I make a lot of healthy choices. But Christmas is much harder because I do a lot of christmas baking with my grandson. I am not sure what I will do for that.
Fitness Minutes: (1,876)
1,049 11/6/12 1:30 A
I don't count calories on the holidays, and I didn't when I was losing weight either. I just always prepare to weigh more the next day. You end up going right back down the couple days following. I tried counting calories during family holidays...But with half the family being Italian, it's just a buzz kill. Not my thing. Kudos to those who can though, it takes pure dedication! I'm talking like ONE day though...Actual Christmas, actual Thanksgiving...Not overeating for months at a time...Lol I know some people who do that on the holidays!
I try to eat like other days and not over due on the sweets as hard as it may be. I slip up some times,but know I can do better the next day.
Fitness Minutes: (79,200)
4,850 11/5/12 9:47 P
The few times I've stayed on track during the holiday season were when I was in an "obsessive compulsive" mode, than, no tempting food phased me at all. Otherwise, I eat more than normal, but still keep up the daily exercise. If you stay on track too tightly, I guarantee you will be checking into the "Binge Motel" all of January to make up for it.........deprivation does that to a person. All the catch phrases of the season won't seem to help, you need to dig yourself out of it, and get back into your regular routine.
Fitness Minutes: (12,955)
150 11/5/12 9:36 P
I remind myself to make it about the family about the holiday and not about the food. If the weather is nice you could plan a family walk after a meal or a game of tag football. any way to hang out with family and workout at the same time.
Fitness Minutes: (318,517)
95,515 11/5/12 8:40 P
As my mind starts thinking about what I'll be doing in November and December, I'm having trouble focusing. I want to eat well and move while I'm away from home. How do you do it?
What strategies help you stay focused on your health goals during the holiday season?
I'm especially interested in what you do when you are away from home surrounded by every family members' extra special recipe that takes all day to prepare and that was made especially for you in portions that could feed a footbal team.
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