food temptations

Approaching the Holidays

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:

Rebel Turkey Day

Setting a Skinny Table

Any Way You Slice That Pumpkin Pie

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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!

Christmas Cookies – Part 1

Christmas Cookies – Part 2

Christmas Cheer

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!

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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?

Nutritional Challenges and a Challenge

What is your biggest nutritional challenge?

It’s not going to be easy. Losing weight and learning how to eat is hard work. There are many things that could be challenging. Here are just a few:

  • Portion control
  • Giving in to trigger foods/binge eating
  • Food allergies/sensitivities
  • Not knowing WHAT to eat to be healthy or lose weight
  • Unrealistic expectations for rapid weight loss
  • Not eating enough
  • Not getting support from people regarding your weight loss attempts
  • Breaking old habits
  • Negative thinking

There’s so much more that we face when we decide it’s time to lose weight. How we deal with those challenges is what makes us successful or not so much…

What are my challenges? Before I lost 110 pounds, my challenges were portion control, bingeing, and not knowing what to eat. I changed my thinking, I told myself I CAN DO THIS, and I did. I did not have unrealistic expectations about how long it would take to lose the weight–I knew it would be a hard journey–and I was lucky to get support for almost everyone in my life.

And then I lost the weight and the challenges changed a bit. Portion control was still the devil on my shoulder, but I had gotten a handle on the binge eating. I’d broken the bad habits I had and learned what to eat.

So what about you? What are your challenges and what can you do to change that?

Now the CHALLENGE:

I challenge every single one of you to remove ONE thing from your house that is causing you grief.

Candy. Cookies. Chips. Cheese. Potatoes. Bacon. Beer! …whatever your trigger food is, whatever food item is on your mind and currently in your house. Take it to your neighbor’s house as a gift, give her the box of of cookies. Take the bag of chips to work and share with coworkers. Just remove ONE of those things that are tempting you from your house for 1 week. See how you do. You might be surprised at how powerful “out of sight, out of mind” really is.

Are you in?