10 Tips To Avoid The Holidaze
In this episode, Glenn gives his 10 favorite tips for keeping a level head (and scale) over the holiday season and not being in a daze come January.
Listen to This Episode Here
(These are the notes I used to make this episode about Surviving the Holidaze, but not a verbatim transcript)
The average person gains 8 – 12 pounds over the holiday season from Halloween through New Year’s Eve. This is caused by relaxed inhibitions and the knowledge that the New Year is right around the corner.
There is a similar attitude regarding spending money – people will often charge up credit cards in a short-sighted frenzy to live it up during the final days of the year.
Then, January comes, and reality hits. Ouch, that is a harsh reality, 10 pounds gained and $1,000 deeper in debt.
Weight gain is kind of like debt too, eating more than you need is analogous to spending more than you have. Then you are left with all the work of paying it off, without any of the fun.
How long would it take you to burn off those excess pounds put on during the last quarter of the year? Or will some of it stay on? Losing weight is hard work. Summer is coming, eventually, and that is motivating. Then the holidays are back and it starts all over again.
But it doesn’t have to.
The holidays are tough. There is an atmosphere of celebration, indulgence and excess. There is an abundance of food at everywhere. The colder, shorter days cause us to be hungrier as our primitive selves attempt to put on winter weight.
How to Avoid Overeating and the Holidaze
1. Plan on NOT overeating.
- Do not approach a fancy dinner as an eating competition.
- Your behavior/response to any situation is influenced by your expectations. By expecting not to overeat on Thanksgiving, you are actively taking control of your behavior and acknowledging that you have the power to control how much you eat.
2. Eat a decent breakfast and lunch.
- Don’t starve yourself until the big meal arrives – you are sure to overeat. Ninety six percent of people who lose weight and keep it off eat breakfast every day.
3. Drink two or three glasses of water before the feast begins.
- Drinking fluids before and/or during your meal will decrease the number of calories you can eat before you start feeling full.
4. Eat slowly.
- After you consume the necessary calories for your body to function, it can actually take around 20 minutes for your brain to process the information and let you know you have eaten enough.
- If you are eating slowly, the number of calories that you consume over what your body needs will be minimized, assuming you stop eating when you feel you are no longer hungry.
5, Keep your portions small.
- Serve yourself whenever possible. People tend to be extra generous when putting food on someone else’s plate.
- To keep your portions small serve yourself and if you have to pass your plate, be sure to say you want a small serving. Or use smaller plates to achieve instant portion control.
6. Be easy on yourself. You’re only human.
- One large meal is not a problem; many large meals in a row are. Furthermore, guilt can lead to depression that leads to more overeating.
- Start over the next day and start with a healthy breakfast and be more active.
7. Remember you can enjoy leftovers the next day.
- If you enjoyed the food the first time, you will be able to enjoy it again.
- Save some for later. You will thank you.
8. Get some light exercise.
- Activity will help you keep your metabolism up and burn some of the extra calories you ate.
- Remember this can be divided into smaller bouts of exercise if 30 or 60 minutes isn’t realistic, try 10 minutes at a time.
- Take a walk with family and friends after holiday meals, play with your children, do whatever you like to do.
- Anticipate excess calories and exercise before a party or dinner.
- Throw some physical activity into a party such as a scavenger hunt, Frisbee, or touch football
9. Set a good example.
- Maybe the strongest motivator of all – help others.
- Making a conscious effort to set a good example to those around you can help you maintain responsible eating.
- Serve the kinds of foods you’d prefer to eat like fresh fruit or vegetable platters, and healthy choices for main and side dishes.
10. Plan ahead.
- Think and plan ahead so you are not blind-sided by the unexpected.
- A little forethought goes a long way in empowering you.
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