December is a time of navigating the obstacle course of Christmastime chocolate eating, Butterball turkeys, Mrs. Cubbison’s cornbread stuffing, pecan pie, frosted cookies, cannolis, and chocolate-chunk tartufo! Dreams of sugar plums, candy canes, and figgy pudding haunt our sleep. Everywhere we go, there is another reason to throw away the calorie book and indulge, indulge, indulge!
How do we reduce our risk of succumbing to all this delectable temptation? Is it possible to keep from gaining weight during the Christmas season?
Here are some tips for keeping the pounds off:
1. Mentally prepare yourself ahead of time.
If you are taking a trip to the shopping mall, try to think of the obvious places where food will be displayed in large quantities, such as the See’s Candy store, Cinnabun (my personal weakness), Mrs. Fields Cookies, Starbucks’ pastry display case, Hickory Farms, and so on. Try to navigate around these areas.
2. Eat something before you go to the mall.
A bad scenario is arriving at the mall feeling ravenously hungry and entering through the doorway next to Hickory Farms Hams. That would sabotage the willpower of even the most dedicated dieter!
3. If you’re invited to a holiday party at someone’s house, bring a large salad with fat-free dressing.
Fill your plate with three-quarters salad and one-quarter treats. Turkey breast is okay, a small amount of potatoes, vegetables, etc. – these are fine.
4. Bring a baggy of carrot and celery strips.
This way you can munch away and not feel guilty afterwards.
5. Watch your alcohol intake.
Alcohol is full of empty calories. It is unrealistic to think that you won’t drink anything, but budget that Cabernet or Whiskey Sour or spiked eggnog into your daily calories. Sip your drink slowly and try to nurse it along so that you won’t want another and another. If you are thirsty, drink water.
6. Skip the hors d’oeuvres. Save those for the people who’ll be lined up at the gym on January 2nd.
7. Buy yourself a party outfit in October that’s a little bit tight fitting.
In December, you will have lost the extra few pounds needed to fit into it perfectly. Congratulate yourself and use this as your inspiration not to fall off the wagon during the holiday festivities.
8. Psych yourself up.
Put up pictures of what you want to look like after you’ve lost the weight. Also put up pictures of obese people before gastric bypass surgery. A mental image is worth a thousand words of inspiration!
9. Exercise for 30 minutes every morning.
This will speed up your metabolism for the whole day and leave you with a margin for error.
While the whole world is gorging itself this holiday season, be the one who dares to be different. You can keep the weight off while still enjoying the festivities and holiday cheer. Remember that food does not have to be the focus of every good time. Concentrate of the people at an event – not the goodies. You can stick to your weight-loss goals and be an inspiration to other people who are having trouble sticking to theirs.