I was really hoping to have lost a decent amount of my honeymoon weight BEFORE the holidays hit this year. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. I was plugging along, doing my best to eat properly, measuring my food, counting my calories (even the bites) and limiting the alcohol intake. I did okay throughout the latter part of October and most of November.
I was determined not to gain weight during the holiday season. It’s so easy to just say “oh well, I guess I’ll gain that Christmas 5” but I didn’t want that to happen this year. As with most years when the holidays hit, my goal is to just MAINTAIN where I am. Bare minimum, stay where I’m at. That means I can still indulge here and there and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself of everything “fun.” Check out this old post, an oldie but a goodie, on this very topic: Why Wednesday- Why You Don’t Quit for the Holidays.
The biggest thing I can do for this is limiting the liquid calories. Historically speaking I would stop drinking my calories (in all forms) starting the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve-ish. That has worked well for me in the past because it was calories I didn’t necessarily need so for 30 days I could abstain and that would keep the weight steady. Here are a few old posts about Thanksgiving:
Any Way You Slice That Pumpkin Pie
Christmas is harder for me. There’s a lot of events–Michael’s work throws a big party that’s catered and has a full bar. My family always threw a big shindig with amazing food and my aunt’s famous eggnog. So much temptation!
Then of course there is the hot cocoa, which usually satisfies my sweet tooth and is a good low-calorie dessert, but sometimes drinking cocoa makes me want a warm, yummy cookie to go along with it! Dammit more temptations!
Losing during the holiday season is such a struggle. The social eating is what has always been my downfall. I try my best and I go into these situations with good intentions but then there’s always something on that buffet table that I find irresistible. So how do you stop that binge?
There are a few tricks I use. If I am going to a holiday party where I know there will be lots of good food, I make sure that I get my workout in first. If nothing else it gives the day balance. Next, I try to eat sensibly the rest of the day. That does not mean starving myself, but it also does not mean that the entire day is a waste and I should just eat whatever I want.
Sparkling water and diet soda do wonders. If you don’t want to spend your calories on alcohol, or want to limit the intake, this is a great trick. Sparkling zero calorie drinks can fill you up temporarily and you have something in your hand that you are drinking. So it’s not like you’re standing there like a scrooge while everyone is partying. In the past I did this at my family holiday party because was pretty much a whole day affair and that’s a LOT of calories if you just eat and drink the entire time. I pace myself. I start with water. I switch to diet soda. Then later in the evening I might indulge in an adult beverage or two.
Those adult beverages add a LOT of calories to your meal. Is it worth it? Usually not. Read this post if you haven’t: I Had a Drinking Problem.
Despite not making the dent in my weight loss that I had hoped before the holidays, I am going back to the “just try and maintain” method for the rest of 2014. That is my goal, along with maintaining my fitness routine. Some of my other goals: avoid holiday baking at home (there is plenty everywhere else, I don’t need to make any more!), try not to beat myself up about indulging here and there and most importantly: weigh myself once a week to CHECK IN. Stay on track!
Check out this link for some more tips: 32 Science-Backed Ways To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
How do you keep the weight gain at bay during the holidays?
The holidays sure can be tough!
I make a very concrete plan before every holiday event. These days, oftentimes I actually don’t eat at parties. Since I can’t eat gluten anymore, the choices are limited and often there is hidden gluten, which leaves me feeling not got at all. Instead, I focus on interactions. If I have the mindset from that start that I will stay away from the food table, it’s actually fun and easy to spend my time socializing. If I really want something, I plan for it and have it (for example, one of my friends always makes amazing eggnog, and that’s what I have at her party). It’s my splurge for the day, and I still feel good at the end of the day.
Andrea@WellnessNotes recently posted..Joyful, Mindful, & Relaxing Holidays
You make a great point I missed–when food issues are part of the equation. Yep, gluten free complicates things. When Michael went GF we ended up bringing dishes to parties that were gf or we knew he could eat (like a veggie tray or something). Bringing your own “safe” foods often helps when there are other things tempting you.
The fortnight before Xmas is terrible, calorie wise. There is my birthday, staff Xmas party, end of the school year, and then Xmas itself. I try to eat really well inbetween and try to keep my exericse on track. And I don’t drink alcohol at every event. That and making good choices is basically all I can do!
Oh man! All of that stuff at the same time?!
That’s a good plan–skipping alcohol at some events frees up a lot of calories.
the same as the rest of the year.
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Yes! Mindfully! And not eating things I don’t want/like just because it’s there. Having one bite of something to see if I like it is a good plan that I use often. Then I don’t feel obligated to eat more. Having a spoonful of each item on the buffet that interests me is enough usually.
with my husband in the hospital these last 10 days, I’ve found it extremely difficult to stay focused on food or working out – if I get out of this year maintaining, I would be thrilled!
Biz recently posted..A Kitty on My Counter
You’ve had a hard time. I don’t think anyone expects you to make it to the gym right now! Priorities!
I am definitely going to watch the calorie intake where drinks are concerned because I definitely tend to have more drinks at this time of year. Like you, I was hoping to have a few more pounds off before the holidays, but if I at least maintain where I am now through Christmas, I will call that a success. One year a few years ago, I actually lost weight over the holidays! I’m going to follow your advice and keep the workouts up to hopefully balance the extra indulgences … but I want to try not to go too crazy!
Man how did you lose? Do you remember? LOL It’s a Christmas miracle!
I think that year I was definitely more careful about what I ate and drank, but I didn’t completely deprive myself. I could never resist my mom’s thumbprint cookies altogether! But I remember I had a 10-mile race scheduled in early Jan., so I had no choice but to train throughout. I’ve been considering doing that race again, to help me stay on track … if I am, I better get on the ball!
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Training, good tip! That might be something to consider for next year. Sign up for a New Year’s Day 5k or something to keep at it….