Do you struggle to maintain your weight during the holiday season? Do you easily fall into holiday treat temptations? Follow these 6 tips to not gain weight during the holidays. It is not easy, and it takes will power, but these tips will help you stay on the right track to avoid gaining weight this holiday season.
Holiday treats are everywhere this time of year. The average person gains between 5-10 pounds during the holiday season. This is a lot, but it is not surprising with all the food and treats around this time of year.
Unfortunately, as you get older, weight tends to come on a lot faster than it does off. A person can gain a couple pounds real easy, but then struggle to get it back off again. Personally, I would rather not gain 5-10 pounds during the holidays and spend all of January, February and March trying to get it back off.
Having a plan and staying faithful to it will help you not gain weight this Christmas. If you are looking to get organized and prepared for Christmas, grab your holiday planning guide HERE. Make these 6 tips a part of your plan to maintain your weight this holiday season.
#1: Make Maintaining Your Weight During the Holidays into a Contest
The past 2 years I have been a part of a maintain don’t gain challenge with my gym. We pay $10 and then weigh in the week before Thanksgiving and weigh out in the beginning of January. There are prizes for losing weight and maintaining your weight during this time period. Just this small challenge that costs me $10 holds my feet to the fire, and makes me think before I take a treat or two because I do not want to lose the challenge or my $10. The past 2 years I have lost weight at Christmas time when the 15 years before that I gained an average of 5-10 lbs at Christmas. I feel a big part of that was from being in a contest.
Get an Accountability Partner
If you do not know of a formal contest, make maintaining your weight into a contest with someone you know this year. Ask your partner, sister, friend, someone to join you – to have an accountability partner. Having someone else in it with you, cheering you on, talking about it with you, and holding you accountable with weight loss I have found is important. Someone to hold you accountable until the end.
Also, you can support each other and encourage each other along the way. My gym sends weekly emails with encouragement, a new workout for the week, and a healthy meal recipe. All which help keep me on track, and when I think of digging into the treats it helps me say no.
If you do not have someone, have something holding you accountable. Give yourself incentives. Try not to make them food related. Maybe it is a new shirt, or time alone to watch your favorite show or movie. Something that will motivate you to stay on track and stay the course.
#2: Have a Daily Food Plan
Help your brain out in the morning by thinking through and planning out your food for the day. Each morning I envision my breakfast, lunch, and snacks so that way when I do get hungry throughout the day, I know what I should eat. When you have no plan, of course your first thought when you’re hungry will be to dig into the treats rather than fruits and vegetables.
I do give myself options as I don’t always feel like eating exactly what I had planned. For example, when I get up in the morning I think ok, today I am going to have a hard boiled egg, yogurt, apple, celery sticks, and a salad. Then when I get hungry, that is what I eat.
Also, I will play a game with myself and tell myself I have to eat these 4-5 fruits and vegetables first before I can have a treat. Sometimes I do not get through the fruits and vegetables so then I never get to the treat. If you plan out what you are going to eat for the day, you are less likely to grab a treat.
#3: Treat (no pun intended:) Non-Party Days Like a Regular Day
My biggest problem during the month of December was digging into the treats every night after supper, on a saturday afternoon, or pretty much anytime I was just a tiny bit hungry. So I told myself I was only allowed to have a treat at a party or a family gathering. Every other day in December, I could not have a treat because it was a normal day and I was going to follow my regular eating schedule.
One of the most helpful things I did to avoid gaining weight during the holiday season last year was to avoid the treats on non party days. If I am not at a holiday party or gathering, I didn’t indulge in special treats or snacks.
#4: Drink A Lot of Water
Every time before I go to a party or gathering where I am about to eat a holiday meal, I will drink a lot of water. This helps me become more full so I am not as hungry at meal time. Besides party days, each morning when I get up and throughout the daytime I drink at least 96 ounces of water. This helps me stay more full. In addition, drinking a lot of water is good for your body in other ways.
Besides drinking water before a party, grab a drink of water every time before you reach for a treat. Sometimes we simply wander into the treats because we are bored and looking for something to do. So before you grab a treat get a drink of water. This motion may curb your food wondering or your bored appetite and help you avoid the treats.
#5: Have Healthy Snack Options Available
Another way to stay healthy this holiday season is by choosing healthy snacks instead of holiday treats. It feels much easier to go for the cookie container than it does to cut an apple, peel a banana, cut up celery sticks or broccoli. Part of the reason we avoid the healthy snack option and reach for the cookies is because we don’t have a variety of healthy options staring at us in the face.
Have a list of healthy snack options that you can turn to if you are hungry. Having a healthy snack list shows you options so you don’t have treats on your mind all the time. When I get hungry, I tend to forget the healthy options. So now I have a healthy snack list on the side of the fridge and in my pantry where I can always see it. It helps me when I am hungry to make good choices.
Furthermore, have fruits and vegetables ready to eat. If you have to work to prepare food when you’re hungry or in a rush you won’t do it and you’ll just grab the cookie instead. So have some fruits and veggies washed, cut, and prepared to easily grab when you are hungry.
#6: Keep the Treats Hidden to Avoid Gaining Weight
To help with tip #3 of only eating treats at holiday parties, I didn’t have many treats or poor choices in the house. Don’t make 5 kinds of Christmas cookies. Instead, just make your very favorite one. Help yourself out with limiting your temptations and simply not having them around.
Then, for the treats you do have, hide that container in a cabinet that you hardly ever use, or somewhere where you won’t see it constantly. Keep the treats out of sight, out of mind.
Typically people keep their treats on the counter or in the front in the pantry. Well when you see it 5-10 times a day you are going to want it and it will be that much harder to stay away from. Hide your treats and keep them in a difficult spot to get at to avoid gaining weight this holiday season.
Final Thoughts on Maintaining Your Weight This Holiday Season
Staying healthy during the holiday season is very difficult with all the treats and temptations around. It will take some will power and grit. However, by making a conscious effort each day and following these 6 tips above, you can avoid gaining wait this holiday season. Come January, you will be glad you did!