The holidays are coming, bringing parties, special foods, and treats with them. How to you get through the rest of the year, surviving holiday temptation, without gaining an extra five pounds, the average weight gain most of us experience over the holidays!
Last week, we talked about writing your goals and making them real in your mind. Reminding yourself of your long term goals makes it easier to choose day to day and surviving holiday temptation.
Easy to say, but how do you avoid those day to day saboteurs? Science has shown that you only have so much willpower in a day. As the day progresses, your willpower goes down. That explains why it’s easier surviving holiday temptation in the morning than in the afternoon. So how do you boost your willpower and get through the holidays?
You need a plan. Use the following tips to help you get through the eating season with your sanity, and waistline, intact, without depriving yourself either. Because who doesn’t want a treat now and then? Besides, treating yourself occasionally means you’re less likely to break down and binge!
The first tip to surviving holiday temptation is writing your goals and keeping them in a prominent location(s). Keeping your eyes on the bigger prize can be a powerful motivator.
The second tip to surviving holiday temptation is tracking what you’re eating. A nibble here, a taste there, we frequently don’t realize how much we’re eating. Even if you keep a diet journal, do you really record that little bite of brownie? I know I don’t. Even when I just have a little bite six times!
A better way? Try the flash diet. Before you eat anything, take out your phone and snap a picture of it. Yes, every bite you eat. Taking a picture makes you think twice about that “one little bite.”
The third tip to surviving holiday temptation is just acknowledging the temptation! If it’s a buffet table groaning with goodies, survey it first. Check out all the tasty nibbles. We eat first with our eyes. After checking everything out, take a small plate and choose two or three things you really want. Your great aunt Josephine’s angel wings? Grandma’s homemade gnocchi? Go for it.
Don’t take the stuff you can get or make anytime. Brownies, chocolate chip cookies? You can get those anytime. Focus on the special treats that are truly special this time of year.
The final tip to surviving holiday temptation is don’t set yourself up for failure. If treats pop up at work from now to New Year’s, start your day with a solid breakfast that includes protein. Studies have shown that protein keeps you filled up for longer. Take a protein rich snack to work with you to prop up your failing willpower later in the day.
If you’re going to an evening party, the same rules apply. Eat a protein rich snack before you go. Fatty, chocolaty treats are easier to turn down when you’re not ravenously hungry.
Remember, holiday weight gain isn’t inevitable. It’s the result of hundreds of choices you make over the next several weeks.
What do you do if you make some bad choices along with the good ones? Come back next week and I’ll tell you! See you then!