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Is it possible to maintain a healthy weight, or even lose weight, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day? The typical American consumes an additional 17,000-42,000 calories during this festive season! That equates to a body fat gain of 5-12 pounds in just over 1 month.
Think it’s no big deal?
It will feel like a big deal in January when the time comes to lose the fat weight by creating a 42,000 calorie deficit! That takes a lot of effort! Wouldn’t it be better to skip the whole yo-yo trip and maintain, or possibly lose weight during the winter holiday season?
If you’re wondering how to skip the weight gain this year, I’ve laid out a simple plan to help you thrive thru the holidays. If you want the worksheet that goes with it, get it here!
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1. Decide how you want to feel as you start the New Year.
Remember, Thanksgiving is a meal. It’s not a month. The same goes for Christmas. Why not take a vacation from calorie counting at your Thanksgiving meal? One super sized meal isn’t going to lead to significant weight gain. But, if you make it a 4 day Thanksgiving binge weekend or a month full of indulgence, it could really impact the tightness of your belt!
For many people, a few days of indulgence leads to more ongoing over-consumption of calories and changes the mindset from mindful eating to a no-holds-barred, eat anything anytime policy. This is how you could end up consuming 42,000 extra calories before the year is through.
2. Decide what you want, and make a STRONG COMMITMENT to it.
Be very clear about your goal. For example, if your goal is that you will weigh the same on January 1st as you weigh right now, there are a few behaviors or actions that will help you reach that goal. What are they? What will you do? What won’t you do? Here are a few ideas:
Commit to your regular exercise habits, despite the busyness, darkness, etc. And, come up with a back up plan if your schedule does change. If you can’t make it to the gym after work for example, maybe you commit to a walk at lunchtime.
Commit to when and how much you will enjoy the tastes of the seasons. Is there one specific food you really enjoy more than the others? Can you go for it…with in reason? For me, it’s my take on Aunt Judy’s sweet potato casserole and pumpkin spice coffee creamer. Most of the other holiday foods I can skip.
3. Visualize success.
Picture yourself ignoring the extra foods and sweets while navigating the break room at work. Clearly see yourself sipping fizzy water at parties rather than indulging in more high calorie drinks or alcohol containing drinks. What will you say? How will you feel? How will you feel afterwards?
Visualize yourself engaging in your regular physical activity. Look at your calendar and see how you will fit it in, even when your schedule becomes full. Make time for movement!
4. Create time and space for nurturing and self care without junk food or extra calories.
Research clearly shows that people eat more calories when they are tired or stressed. So, make it a priority to get adequate sleep and rest. Protect your quiet down time.
Exercise is a key player in managing weight, and skipping exercise or movement during busy times, vacations, and when you have a runny nose can derail your good habits. Once you get out of the routine of regular exercise, it can be very challenging to get the routine back.