Maintaining.. over the holidays

6 12 2012
Liz Gilchrist

Liz Gilchrist

The chart below indicates participant tendency to use popular strategies for maintaining weight loss over the holidays. This blog is dedicated to the tools participants find to be most helpful for maintaining their current weight and developing a healthy approach to the holiday season.


More than 80% of responders plan to reduce the portion sizes of their favorite holiday dishes and here are some tips to help focus your efforts.

– When attending multiple parties or holiday dinners scan all available food options and make a plan of action. Look for smaller plates and healthier side items, rather than heading into a buffet line blindly and overfilling your plate.

– Take tablespoon servings and savor three really decedent bites. It is highly likely that eating smaller portions will leave you feeling satisfied; not deprived.

– Remember that setting yourself up for success can make all the difference when it comes to making healthy choices. Bring a healthier side dish or have raw vegetables on hand.

– Say “no thank you” when you are full, both to yourself and your kind relatives. You are not out to hurt anyone’s feelings, and by sticking to your goal you will feel good about your choice and avoid the potential for guilt.

– A great tip for eating less is something more than 70% of participants plan to utilize, which is drinking a glass of water before meals. We tend to confuse thirst for hunger, which can lead to overeating.  In addition, filling up with extra water can save us calories and aid with digestion.

More than 50% of participants reported being committed to modifying exercise habits to maintain weight loss over the holiday season.

– Life is going to get in the way sometimes, and the best way to plan for this is to be prepared. Schedule your workouts weekly and remember the program advises participants to exercise at the fitness center at least twice per week. Write these days down, create a family calendar and make time for yourself.

– Keep workout clothing or shoes in your vehicle and walk the mall during or after shopping for gifts. Parking lots are going to be busy and this is the perfect time of year to avoid unnecessary door dings and park far away from stores. Carrying packages back to your car will exercise additional arm muscles.

– Make the most of your time exercising. If you only have 30 minutes, put your all into your workout. You have taken the hardest step of getting into the fitness center and giving it all you’ve got will leave you feeling more rewarded and mindful of healthy choices throughout your day.

– The holidays can be very stressful. Between family, friends, shopping and ongoing temptations and time crunches, it is easy to let self-care slide. Exercise is a healthy stress relief and taking you time will make interactions with others more positive.

To touch on a few final thoughts to stay on track over the holiday season remember that small changes can make a big difference. There are handouts available regarding healthy recipes and holiday eating. There are links and additional resources available under the “For Participants” tab of the website.

Finally, having support works. Although it is hard to reach out to others when it comes to making changes, if there is one person you can share your goals with, please consider making the choice to do so.

Feeling validated by an ally can make a big difference when it comes to accountability. Seek out a work colleague or friend with similar goals.




One response

6 12 2012

Thanks, helpful ideas. Different ways to think about things!

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