Surviving the Holidays – Part 2

3 12 2013
Nicole Martin, LPC

Nicole Martin, LPC

I hope you all had a wonderful and filling Thanksgiving holiday!  Now that you have survived holiday feast number one, it’s time to think through your successes and areas that may need improvement.   My last post offered a few tips to get the mind set on success and staying focused on your goals.  Remembering why you entered the program in the first place is always great to reflect upon as you make your way through the holiday season.  Perhaps you are working to gain more flexibility or strength, maybe you just want to improve your health and stamina.  For some, it is time to break the pattern of medical problems that have been passed down through several generations.  Whatever your reason for getting involved…think about that now.

Why are you here? What prompted you to join this program?

What will you gain if you continue to follow your path of healthy eating and working out regularly? 

How have you made a difference for yourself this year?

What do you want to see for yourself and your health in the coming year?

After pondering on these questions, prepare yourself to keep moving and continue improving your life and health.  Be kind to yourself.  Remember, this is a process…not a diet!  Here are a few more tips found in the articles I mentioned in part one to help you continue on your way through this holiday month:

1.       Prepare for the party. Try eating a small, healthy snack before the party so you are not famished by the time you get there.  Take inventory and note the parties and gatherings coming up.  Think through the foods that might be a challenge for you to pass up.

Plan a system of attack:

·         Bring a low calorie appetizer that you know you can eat with a little less guilt

·         Use healthier substitutions and make a low-calorie, low-fat- dessert for the family gathering.

·         Make a low-calorie or low-fat version of your favorite dish that you can eat with a little less guilt.

·         Budget calories throughout the day, so you can afford to spend more at the party.

·         Burn extra calories in a longer-than-usual exercise session (some research shows that adding just 10 minutes of INTENSE exercise to your usual workout can stave off holiday weight gain).

·         Stay focused on getting 7-8 hours of sleep nightly.

2.       Imbibe with caution. Alcohol offers only negatives during this time of year.  It provides extra calories and relaxes your inhibitions, leaving you more vulnerable to making poor choices around the snack table.  Try drinking soda water with lemon or orange slices or adding soda water to your wine to make it go farther and affect you less.  Also, having a drink (a lite, sugar-free, healthy drink) can tie up one of your hands, allowing less movement for mindless snacking!

3.       Get support. Sometimes you just need to talk to a friend or buddy, and get some support and motivation to resist that holiday temptations.  Post a message at your gym to connect with someone, call a friend, or bring along a weight loss buddy for emotional support.  It might also help to sit and talk with people at the gathering/dinner who you know will not be standing around the snack table.  You always have the Health Behavior Counselors to check in with as well, if you want an extra ear and someone with whom to strategize your plan.

Stay strong and stay connected!  We are here to help you along your journey.  Keep up the good work.




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