Halloween, Thanksgiving, holiday parties and treats, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, New Year ’s Day. Now take a deep breath. This is the gauntlet we all run for the next 63 days. Is it any wonder over 35% of us expect to gain weight over the holidays? How can you avoid holiday weight gain?
As a public service (and a reminder!), I’m going to write a few blog posts on how to avoid holiday weight gain and come out on the other side in better health than when you started. Is that possible?
It is, but only if you want to. If you’re half-hearted about it, you’ll be starting the new year with an extra five pounds to lose with your New Year’s resolution to “lose weight.” The choice is yours.
So, how do you avoid holiday weight gain? The first thing to do is remember your health and wellness goals. Write your longer term goals on post-its or index cards and put them in places you can see them in times of greatest temptation.
Put them on your refrigerator. Put them on a discrete place on your desk where you can see them, but others can’t, like by your phone. Share them with one or two close friends so you can all support each other.
Why the stress on writing your wellness goals down? At this time of the year, little things like candy and treats are everywhere, they’re always around. On a co-worker’s desk, at the checkout counter, everyone has that little bowl sitting there filled with treats, calling your name.
You pop a piece of candy in your mouth without even thinking about it. Odds are, you didn’t even want it! It was there, you ate it. I’m not trying to beat you up about it. It happens to almost all of us. I’m just trying to make you aware of your habits. And if you stay focused on your end goals, it’s easier to dodge temptation and avoid holiday weight gain.
When you pick up that candy or treat, ask yourself if it’s worth more than your goal. If your goal is to look good in your bathing suit when you go on that ocean front vacation at Christmas, visualize that goal.
Close your eyes. Feel the ocean breeze on your skin, and the sand between your toes. Taste the salt on the air from the water. Smell the scent of flowers in the air. Listen to the ebb and flow of the waves against the shore. See yourself in that bathing suit, looking awesome as you catch a glimpse of your reflection in a window on your way to the beach. Put yourself in that scene as much as possible. You’re there.
Now open your eyes. Is the immediate gratification of that candy or treat worth giving up your vision? Are you willing to sacrifice your goal for those few moments of a sugar rush? Because that’s the choice you’re actually making.
Holiday weight gain doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of hundreds of small, seemingly inconsequential choices we make every day. Staying focused on the bigger picture helps you make the right choices and avoid holiday weight gain that might seem inevitable.
Next week, I talk about some strategies you can use to dodge temptation and avoid holiday weight gain. See you then.