Fitness Minutes: (21,465)
11/11/12 10:08 A
Lots of great thoughts here...thank you...for me, it never fails to think ahead!
I love the ideas of eating more of the healthier items in addition to a few "special" items...not just everything that is offered. I plan to savor and enjoy...not scoff up everything in sight in a blink of an eye so I am supposedly full 20 minutes before I finish eating!
I will remember this is NOT my last meal, and the food is NOT the reason for the holiday. I will be grateful for what I have and not focus on what I can't have. And, I will not allow others to derail my efforts towards a healthier lifestyle...(yes mom that is all I am eating!)
Thanks to my fabulous cousins, I will be walking in a turkey trot. Doing something new and different is exciting!
In December, I plan to stick with mindful, selective eating with a steady focus on healthier recipes and a limited amount of "treats" in smaller portions. So, for me, this means eating a healthy snack before going out as well as planning to be a little more active during the week. I agree with others that a few minutes of exercise (even light or moderate) can make a difference!
Fitness Minutes: (2,684)
11/11/12 9:08 A
My mom does a lot of amazing Christmas baking, and this year my plan is to allow 1 little sampling a day to satisfy, without having too many calories.
11/11/12 8:30 A
I'm thinking about shifting away from cookies and fudge as a holiday gift. I was thinking a pretty plate of clementines or some of the spice mixes I make would be a better option.
Less risk that I'll add several pounds in the baking and sampling and a better gift to those I love.
Fitness Minutes: (346)
11/10/12 10:33 P
Thanks for all the ideas. I'm really nervous about the holidays, too.
11/10/12 10:25 P
Remember to put yourself first.
11/10/12 5:44 P
Last year was my first year of trying to eat healthly through the holidays. I managed to lose 7 lbs from Thanksgiving to New Years. My approach was to not indulge in all the "pig fests" at work and with friends. Every day was just like everyday before it. I avoided the "food cube" , didn't bring a "dish to pass", didn't eat at the work dinners. I turned down invitations because I knew I couldn't say no to all the unhealthy crap. I know other successful maintainers who have said with the exception of christmas, they continue to follow their plan. It is a matter of life or death to them. Even on Christmas, one person said they still ate within their plan, they just ate a little differently..with no sweets, etc. I think I will have to follow this plan this year too. With One Day being special, not EVERYDAY
Fitness Minutes: (15,528)
11/10/12 3:47 P
ANDREAG89: I really like your ideas, thanks for sharing them. I can't quite believe I'm starting to work on healthy living right before the holidays (instead of right after) but I'm kinda glad. For one thing I have momentum and desire, and also it's not a post-holiday reaction as I've done in the past. Fortunately for T-day I'll be with relatives who are very healthy eating conscious. My biggest challenge will be to watch portion size, since this is still new to me. I really like the meal plan and it'll be strange to be off it for the days I'm out of town visiting family. I love your ideas of different ways to plan ahead and to really look at portion size. This gives me great encouragement. Thanks.
Fitness Minutes: (240,910)
2,243 11/10/12 11:22 A
LOVE IT, CUSH1932! That's my motto too...just eat like normal & don't indulge in all the holiday parties & extra goodies everywhere. And live life...in moderation. :)
Fitness Minutes: (33,459)
11/10/12 10:50 A
take each day as it comes but to try and treat it like any other day. I will not use the holidays and as permission to eat .
You could also go the germ route....cookies sitting out in a bank while lots of people walk around them and pick them up (think of little toddlers picking them up and then their parents say put it back) coughing perhaps, also not knowing exactly what kind of (unsanitary perhaps) kitchen they were made in. My sister is a germaphobe and this is how she thinks so she never eats treats in open areas with lots of people. I've taken to thinking like her to try to avoid the call of the sweets table.
Fitness Minutes: (18,010)
11/9/12 8:12 P
For Thanksgiving, I am planning on eating a healthy breakfast and have a veggie tray to snack on while preparing the meal. I plan to eat reasonable portions of turkey, corn casserole, rutabagas, sweet potato casserole and 3 spoonfuls of dressing. My biggest problem is the leftovers....I eat on them for a week. This year I will try to get my guests to take most of the leftovers home but anything that is left will either be immediately frozen in individual portions or thrown away. I have worked too hard to let one day start me on a downslide again.
This is my second holiday season with my new life style and healthier eating goals. The first was right at the beginning of my journey and so was in some ways easier and harder. Harder because all the changes were new and it was the first time I was thinking to say no to those tasty desserts and extra mashed potatoes. Easier because I was full of eager determination to make my new plan work, and also because I was just beginning my feeling out of what eating healthy really entails.
How I eat now is so much healthier than how I ate then. When I look at dishes and I mentally calculate how many calories are probably in them it just makes me want to back away. I am not sure how that will affect my holiday eating.
For me anything with sugar in it can be a trigger food for me. Even something moderately healthy like a fiber one bar can have me coming back to the box for thirds or however many are left. I have recently gone through a huge stressful time at work which put me a week off my exercise and eating routine. I gained a lot of weight and am still trying to work it off which makes me even more leery about the holidays.
So, tips, I am not 100% sure how I will handle this year and Tday is coming up quick. I am planning on running a 5k that morning to help balance the extra calories, and if I can get my family out for an after dinner walk I will call it a win.
What I did last year: - only indulge on the day of the holiday - I don't count calories that day but try to listen to my body and only eat when hungry, not just when I see food I want - minimize desserts (as this is my weak point) only eat the ones that you really want, if you taste something and it isn't AMAZING then maybe all you needed is that one taste, and if it is mind blowing then finish what you took and enjoy that one serving, not five - try to bring something healthy to the potluck so you have a safety food - don't bring home leftovers! - drink plenty of water - eat the veggies on appetizer trays not the cheese (20 cherry tomatoes is better than 5 pieces of meat/cheese/candied nuts)
I read a lot of tips on here last year and plan to do the same. One thing I would suggest on the christmas cookie front would be to keep healthy snacks in your car (apple, nuts, banana, raisins, etc) so that if you're hungry you have something healthy to go to rather than walking in hungry to a dangerous cookie infested bank! :) I try pretend they don't exist, that they are for someone else, a sweet gesture for someone else and I'm not hungry. I will have cookies on Christmas and that will be ok, but I don't need to have cookies for the next month.
A good mantra for the next few months(and in general):
Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.
Edited by: GENTLEDSOUL at: 11/9/2012 (20:23)
Fitness Minutes: (122,030)
2,615 11/9/12 9:52 A
Practice saying NO THANK YOU!! It's one of those things that we should all do more often!
Look for ways to "lighten" the holiday traditions. For example, I make carrot-zucchini-applesauce cupcakes that are sweet and delicious, and less than 200 calories each, instead of other traditional desserts. You get a full serving of freggies, and they are satisfying and rich enough that you can stop with one....or even one half! Substitutes for green bean casserole, stuffing, cheesy potatoes, etc. will help you stay on track even during the big eating days, the following "leftovers" days, and holiday potlucks.
And find ways to fit in an extra 10 minutes of fitness. Don't plan to hit the gym for two hours a day...just another 10 minutes will help, and it will seem a lot more doable!! If that's all the extra you can do, you've still gotten in more exercise! And if you do 10 minutes and can do five more....
The big thing, for me, is DON'T get really drastic and try to do a 180 from your former holiday routine. That's just setting myself up for failure! Instead, focus on a few steps that you can commit to doing EVERY day! An extra 10 minutes...cutting the sugar/cheese in a recipe in half (or just reducing a little, it all helps!), treating yourself to fancy "company" plates that are smaller so that you eat less....figure out what you can do to make this holiday healthier and still enjoy yourself!!
My dad is actually the worst when I go to visit him and my mom at the holidays. I'll fill up a decent sized plate and eat it. Then he'll say, "Come on; have some more. There's plenty of food here." It's still hard to disobey the father! This year I'll be firm and tell him that I won't eat more!
I like the dry cookie ingredients in the jar idea with recipe info to add later, though. Might try that one myself.
1. you could make cookie jars instead of cookies. basically, mason jars with all the dry cookie ingredients layered in with instructions to add the egg and whatever else wet on the outside.
2. just because they provide them, doesn't mean you have to eat them. pick an amount of cookie that you're willing and able to eat [ie fit into your ranges] and plan your day. if you're going to the bank and susie's house, you should skip the ones at the bank so that you can have some of susie's cookies later. remind yourself that you will be at the bank again, and on that day you'll have bank cookies. keep reminding yourself that since cookies are everywhere, you will have some of all of them, but you don't have to have all of them all of the time.
11/9/12 6:48 A
I couldn't help but think of a response to the aunt/MIL/ or grandmother that comments "that's all you're eating?!" ....
Response: "Yes...You're eating all that?!"
Sorry, no offense meant to any well-intended family members, but it's what I've wanted to say to my meddling aunt for years now.
These are all good ideas. My problem will wind up being the aunt/MIL/ or grandmother that comments "that's all you're eating?!" loud enough for the whole table to hear....
Fitness Minutes: (1,363)
11/9/12 1:23 A
The best tip I can give you is before I go to a Holiay Party, or a Holiday Dinner, I eat a big healthy salad before I go, or a healthy sandwich. If I go there and I am not hungry, I can portion control, This really,really works.
Also, I always follwo a calories range, like mine is 1200 calories-1450 a day, during the holidays, on non party days, I try to stay as close to the low end of my range as possible, that way if I do eat an extra 500-700 calories at a dinne or a party, it won't cause weight gain. I only allow a special treat meal once a week at most, and I step up my fitness to either an extra 15 minutes, or an extra 2500 steps on my pedometer, and voia, no holiday weight gain. You can do it
One final tip: try bringing 1 or two healthy dishes too, and make sure you eat from them.
I've learned it's easier to say "no" to the first one than it is to the second one. The second one (whether it's a mini-candy bar or a DQ sundae) is almost impossible to resist..much harder than if I'd walked away (far away) from the 1st one. Someday I hope to be able to eat the 1st one & stop, but not yet.
My strategies: Jump in the shower where I can't eat, leave the food source quickly & get far, far awy, immediately put the spatula with frosting in a big bowl of soap suds, never, ever scoop up a drop of anything on the counter or in a dish (frosting, mashed potatoes, cookie dough) ---wipe it away w/ a soapy sponge immediately.
Fitness Minutes: (52,553)
11/8/12 4:15 P
I don't have to worry so much about Thanksgiving, since I'm flying solo that weekend, but I do have to worry about Christmas (5 days with the family...all overweight or obese). I'll probably be at maintenance at that point, so my plan is to try to be 3-5 pounds below my goal weight, do some sort of exercise every day (I'm taking my resistance bands, balance ball and pump for the balance ball with me), and just be mindful of what I eat. Make that committment each day that I'm there, rinse, repeat.
I make sure anything I choose to eat is worth the calories... and like many have said, just allow some leeway on the actual holiday. I usually lose weight over the holidays because I stay so busy and I rarely snack... and I try to be disciplined about not nibbling mindlessly..
At Thanksgiving dinner I can pass up the rolls and butter, but need a helping of pretty much everything else.. but a small helping! And I choose only one of the pie flavors and cut a piece about an inch wide.. just enough to taste. This worked last year and I ended a great meal wtihout feeling that awful sense of being stuffed...
Wear pants that have a fitted waistband. No elastic waists! It's a good way to remind us to think before we eat.
Fitness Minutes: (32,502)
86 11/8/12 2:47 P
Parties are a challenge; this year I'm going to scope out the "offerings"; take a reasonable portion and then hang out somewhere else (not within easy grabbing distance of the goodies).
After I slowly and thoughtfully enjoy what's on my plate, if I want something else it will be just one and I won't eat it until I'm again some distance from the buffet table.
I'm a mindless grazer so I'm hoping just by putting some distance between me and the goodies I'll stay conscious of my choices. Fingers crossed anyway.
Fitness Minutes: (21,299)
552 11/8/12 12:21 P
I'm going to try these approaches this year (I gained last year, too, maybe 10 lbs) -
1. Enter all my recipes into SparkRecipes - cookies, casseroles, etc. 2. Put all foods I intend to eat into the meal tracker PRIOR to a known big meal or party 3. Focus on portion sizes. 1/2 c mashed potatoes, etc. 4. Take a really good salad and/or veggie tray to said party and focus on that 5. Think before I eat. Wait for all yummies to be spread out on a table and then study them. Determine what I want and how much of it I can have - focus on savoring the flavors, not consuming as much as I possibly can. 6. Plan a week ahead. If I know carry-ins at work and other parties are happening, I will look at the week ahead and go lighter on some days so I can balance out the heavier days.
I know we all wish others AND ourselves well during this challenging time of year. Let's keep our goals in mind. We can do it!!!! Too much of this can lead to this !!!!!!!
Edited by: ANDREAG89 at: 11/8/2012 (12:22)
11/8/12 5:41 A
I know for myself that once I have "just one" cookie, it's never enough - it's too much - because it leads to a binge. I am struggling with this right now with the leftover Halloween candy...one mini chocolate leads to about 10 more. Granted there is some additional stress factors I am contending with but the holidays bring on stress as well.
I like the idea of indulging in only those things that are not easily available the rest of the year (special stuffing, egg nog, etc). I have heard that when it comes to sweets, they should only be eaten as dessert, not alone - you will be too full to go overboard. Now if I can just follow my own advice!
11/8/12 12:14 A
Realize your weaknesses and focus on your strengths. Today, I realized that I can resist indulging in sweets if my focus is on something that is more meaningful to me.
It is also important to focus on the little things and each moment/situation as it comes up while asking yourself is this something that gets me closer to my goals or can I substitute something else for what I am about to eat? Remember though your not perfect...don't beat yourself up over a few self-indulgent moments during the holiday season as long as you don't let it turn into a snowball effect of one special treat after another.
Remember that the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our loved ones this holiday season is the gift of good health. Perhaps, it is time to create "healthy treats" instead of baking those hard to resist cookies. If we must indulge...and let's face it we all will...look for healthier options and make it count!
Together we can make a difference for ourselves, our families and our friends! Let the SPARK burn brightly this holiday season!!!
I really like the idea of enjoying the holiDAY within reason on the day of and just getting back on track the next day. You also have to know yourself enough to know what you can handle. Do you have enough willpower to bake cookies without eating 1/2 a dozen? Then make them. If you don't, it's ok. Just don't bake them; find something that fits who you are now and your new lifestyle. It's easier said than done, but at the end of the day you have to decide which choice will make you proud of yourself and which will leave you disappointed in the long-run.
Fitness Minutes: (21,534)
11/7/12 11:28 P
Ice water in a Waterford wine class for the cocktail hour and espresso sans milk for dessert.
I REALLY WILL HAVE TO REMIND MYSELF OF THIS!! I CAN have 1/2 cup mashed potatoes anyother time of the year. They DON'T taste any different on Thanksgiving! I do, however, only make homemade stuffing only once a year. Same with veggies with butter and I will enjoy and be thankful to eat them with my family. I still will probably eat til it hurts on the actual holiday, but I will freeze portions of leftovers that I can track and fit into my calorie range throughout the following weeks or months.
Fitness Minutes: (32,760)
3,885 11/7/12 9:38 P
I love to bake but to lose the weight and keep it off--no tasting. I keep a towel tucked in the tie of my apron when I am baking and anything that lands on my hands (that I might be inclined to taste or lick off) goes on the towel. Earlier this year I made three cakes and four different batches of cookies and did not touch a single one. It also helped that as soon as something was baked and cooled it was on the way out the door.
You can do it! It just takes planning. Freeze the cookies as soon as possible. Bag them and store in the car; anything to put them out of easy reach.
Edited by: GETULLY at: 11/12/2012 (12:07)
11/7/12 9:38 P
I am going to try not to spend too much time staring at food, and more time being helpful, I'll do dishes, clear the table, take the grumpy baby for a walk, or the dog, anything that does not keep me sitting too long staring at uneaten food! One helping of what I like, and that's it! Done! Move on.
Fitness Minutes: (1,876)
11/7/12 8:36 P
My strategy is that I do not track on actual Holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Christmas), and then I plan to weigh in a little more the next day. It all comes right off within the next day or two.
11/7/12 7:53 P
I've given this some thought too and think I'm going to just eat what i want within reason on the actual holiday but not snack on junk every day in between. I'll fit a walk in after dinner. I'm also going to start the actual holidays with a healthy (not sweet) breakfast. I am a complete light-weight when it comes to alcohol, but generally enjoy a glass of wine or two during holiday dinners-- I'm going to bypass that this year--.not because of the calories in the wine but because i realized i lower my defenses after a glass and don't seem to mind eating more then... Ill save the glass of wine for a time there isnt that much temptation in front of me.
i intend on making good choices and indulging a bit where i see it is worth it. I can pass up on my moms rice pudding or other traditional food. I will still maintain my daily calorie count but if there is a special event...good, smart choices are the only way to go. I want to enjoy the holidays and not feel like I am dieting but that i am improving my way of life and the way i look t food. I want to eat to live not live to eat!!
You mentioned that you bake cookies to give as gifts and that they're a temptation for you. What if instead of making cookies, you made something else and gave it away? One year, my husband and I gave friends a recipe for an unusual chili dish (Cajun-spiced with apples and pork tenderloin) plus a small container of the Cajun spice rub.
You could give a healthy recipe and one of the ingredients for it. Or you could even give your cookie recipe (maybe with a themed cookie cutter).
When it comes to holiday meals and treats, I agree with what at least one other person mentioned. I save my calories for the really special foods and treats that only come around once or twice a year. It might be something I really enjoy (for me, its gingerbread cookies) or it might something made by someone I care about a lot. And then I have a very small portion. And I avoid the ordinary stuff.
Although you can't exercise intensely, you can use movement (low intensity - whatever you're able to do, given your illness) as a distraction and a stress release. Given that you're someone who used to be more active (pre-illness) and derived pleasure/confidence from that, I think it might help your sense of control if you build some movement into your day, even though it's not at your normal intensity level. At parties, get up and move around - as long as you move away from temptation. If you feel tempted by treats at home, go for an easy walk around the block or do a 20-minute yoga or stretching DVD. You could even go as far as to set a goal related to the kinds of exercise you can do. For example, if you're interested in yoga but new to it, you could set a goal about progressing from a level 1 DVD to a level 2 DVD by the New Year.
Fitness Minutes: (88,795)
11/7/12 5:43 P
Gum. Brush your teeth and just drink water at the party.
Also, stick to the salad, lean meats, etc. Maybe try one spoonful of something decadent if it's really worth it. And increase your exercise.
Pick a couple of your favorites and indulge. For me - I go for the Ricotta pie, corn caserole and sweet potatoes. So many choices can be overwhelming, but when I narrow it down to a few favorites, I really savor them.
I have found that the years I stuck with my exercise and eating plans, in general I gain much less weight than the years I throw everything out the window. I don't really expect to lose weight during the holidays, I aim at maintenance. I do try to keep sweet treats and candy out of the house as much as possible as that's my weakness.
Fitness Minutes: (44,550)
11/7/12 12:50 P
I'm making a small thanksgiving dinner, with an expensive meat (duck), really special stuffing with nice mushrooms (morels, oysters, etc), and probably some brussels sprouts.
That way the meal will be intensive but won't be too big.
My desserts will also be rich but small.
Fitness Minutes: (3,211)
11/7/12 10:57 A
I am only going to splurge, withing my calorie range, on the foods that come by once a year. Why indulge in mashed potatoes that I can have any day of the year? I will spend a few extra calories on the homemade stuffing instead. I will also have a candy cane or two and one glass of egg nog if the spirit moves me. Between planning well and only having a few seasonal treats I should be able to stay on the right track. :)
11/7/12 10:54 A
Your responses so far are helpful. I look forward to more!
Fitness Minutes: (7,943)
11/7/12 10:40 A
If cookies and other treats are everywhere (and at my office, they are!), I try to choose the one whose nutritional value is the least bad, for example, choose oatmeal raisin cookies rather than chocolate brownies.
11/7/12 9:09 A
The best advice I have ever heard is that it is a holiday and not a holimonth. So plan on using moderation and portion control on those holidays and returning to counting calories the rest of the month.
11/7/12 9:04 A
Just because there are cookies does not mean you have to eat them all!
If you can, have one and move on. If you cannot, just get it into your head that you will not have a cookie until New Years Day.
11/7/12 9:02 A
I have a lot of tricks to manage overeating at parties and will list them if desired.
My biggest problems during the holiday season is the cookies everywhere I go such as the bank, post office, work, homes of family and friends, church, school...absolutely everywhere!
I can turn down fudge, chocolate, peanut brittle, and more. But the cookies are a problem for me!
Biggest strategy i can think of is plan plan plan. You know it is a tough season, so plan for it. On thanksgiving, go do a turkey trot. Plan to help out at shelters to get out of the house. Plan exercise more often to get away from the food. then just breathe and enjoy the holidays. A few pounds isn't the end of the world.
I wish I had the answer... I struggle with this too. Every year since 2006, I have gained at least 10 and as much as 20 lbs between Nov 20 and Jan 10! It's awful. For me, it's a combination of the fact that I do a great deal of traveling during that time, a lot of eating at relatives' houses, a lot of parties, and parties at my house with lots of leftovers.
This year, yet again, I'll be traveling internationally. And staying with family and eating what they cook. But I'm not going to attend or host any holiday parties this year. At least I can keep the food out of my own house. I am extremely dedicated to the exercise side of things. It's the food side that is so difficult for me during the holidays. For me to keep my weight steady would be an absolute miracle. Unfortunately I'm flying on a budget airline so won't be able to bring my scale or my laptop... disaster!!
11/7/12 7:59 A
I gain about five pounds every year between Thanksgiving through New Years. I need ideas and strategies to help me overcome this time of year when there are cookies everywhere I go. I do not attend but only 1-2 Christmas parties, and can control what foods I choose on the tables.
But the abundance of cookies, even at my own home as I make cookie plates to give to friends, is really hard for me to conquer.
Normally, I don't worry about it, gain the weight, and lose it by St. Patrick's Day. This year is different as I have a long-term illness which prevents me from doing strenuous exercises with which to help burn extra calories?
How do you survive the holiday season and not gain weight and eat too much sugar?
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