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'Tis the season of confusion

Friday, December 14, 2018

Confused about how to manage your weight this time of year?

During the holiday season of food and good cheer, bow do you prevent gaining weight?

Should you stay on your low carb plan which pretty much eliminates every holiday treat?

Maybe you could eat some of your favorites but skip the rest, but what if that kicks up your cravings for sweets?

Whenever you go to any type of party or gathering, you are faced with the question of how to stay on track and still enjoy the event. And at times, this can make you feel confused rather than confident.

Actually, you don't need a book of tips to manage the holidays. You only need two. Here are my favorite ways to get through this time of year without gaining weight.

1. Half-off special

For a simple but effective way to manage holiday meals, use the half-off special. That simply means eat half as much as you normally would or half of what you actually want.

For example, scoop up a bunch of mashed potatoes, then put half of it back. Picture the amount of dressing or green bean casserole you'd really like, then only take half that much.

Cut a piece of pie in half, then savor and appreciate the flavors. Remind yourself that you've gotten what you need from the food, so you don't need to reach for another piece.

If you try eating half of your usual amount but can't stop yourself from reaching for more, take a look at your emotional needs. Maybe something else in requires attention or needs to be "filled." See if you can do something to feel nurtured or calmed even during a hectic meal.

2. Minimize the damage

This eliminates trying to be perfect or never eat holiday foods. It just means to stick with your boundaries, and use them to keep you on track.

Recognize when you feel weak and are about to give in to a food trigger, then leave the setting--take a walk, go home, read a book, even go to bed if necessary.

At family gatherings, create your own system for minimizing the damage. Do the same things with work parties, unplanned events or drop-in visitors. Keep a list of your best tricks such as savoring, focusing on the first two bites and postponing eating.

Even when you slip up, you can still decrease the amount of damage you allow to happen. Build a strong confidence that you can stop eating and get back in charge of your plan.

Pull out any actions that will help get back in control--sit on your hands, leave the room or brush your teeth.

Enjoy the rest of December and find your joy in the process.
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