Many patients have asked for tips to help survive the upcoming holidays! Here are 10 of my favorite. Keep in mind that the brief gratification from food is not worth it! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. ~ Chris
1. Plan the Menu! It’s easier to avoid potatoes & rolls if they are not on the table tempting you. Plan your holiday meal around a lean protein source (turkey/ham/roast), add some creative sides (toss salad/asparagus/cauliflower mashed potatoes/broccoli casserole w/out the rice) & keep the dessert to a minimum (baked cinnamon apples/pumpkin custard). Not the host? Bring a side dish you know fits into your plan (cheese tray/deviled eggs/veggie tray).
2. Maintain OR Increase Physical Activity! No explanation needed here, but the extra effort towards physical activity will pay off.
3. Maintain a Regular Meal Pattern! Eat breakfast, lunch & dinner as usual. Going into a holiday meal overly hungry is setting yourself up for failure.
4. Donate leftovers! Give them away to family and friends, or throw them out. Think of holiday meals as ONE meal.
5. Enjoy the Company! Celebrating the holidays is about family and friends. Make the focal point of the holidays enjoying the time you have with your family and friends instead of concentrating on the food!
6. Use a Plate! Put food on a plate instead of picking at the food. By using a plate you are making a conscious choice about the foods you want to eat. Take your time and enjoy your selections!
7. Go Back to Your Normal Diet the Next Day! One holiday meal does not ruin all of your hard work. Don’t practice all or nothing thinking. Get right back on track!
8. Don’t Hover Around the Food! Gathering around food during the holidays is very common. Take the initiative and move the conversation away from the food. Hovering can lead to grazing, and calories from grazing add up fast.
9. Have a Plan! Know what you are going to eat & what you are not going to eat – stick to your plan!
10. Believe in Yourself! You have come a long way on your weight loss journey. Beleive you can enjoy the holidays without overindulging, feeling deprived or gaining weight. Live in the moment, practice conscious eating & think about what choices will set you up to reach your goals!