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Why do so many people set their expectations to gain weight during the holiday season? This creates an unnecessary self-fulfilling prophecy. By preparing yourself for weight gain, you are setting yourself up to eat larger than normal portions and eat as if you might never see holiday cookies again the rest of your life. This belief encourages unhealthy rationalization for over indulging.
There is no need to gain weight while enjoying the holiday festivities. Here are five easy little tricks to enjoy holiday food and fun without packing on the pounds.
1. Use your salad plate for your meal. This will naturally cut at least 200 calories. You can fill your plate since it is a smaller size. Since most of us eat with our eyes first, you will feel that this "full" plate will fill you up and satisfy you.
2. Walk everyday. Whether you take a walk alone to center your thoughts and prepare for your day or you walk with family and friends to socialize, make sure you walk everyday to get physical activity that will burn calories.
3. Focus on the social aspect of the holidays instead of the food. If you are more excited about seeing your family and friends than you are about eating Grandma's pumpkin pie, you will not eat as much since that is not the focus.
4. Eat whatever you choose in moderation. Do not restrict yourself from your favorite holiday foods. That is a set up for a binge. Your will power to not eat these foods will only last a certain length of time and then you will switch into rationalization mode. Rationalizing food typically leads to over indulgence. So take a small amount of whatever you want and enjoy every bite!
5. Wear form fitting clothes during the holidays to be a constant motivator to make good food decisions and maintain your figure. If you feel good in your little black dress, you will not be as tempted to eat everything on the dessert tray and bust the zipper!
Incorporate these techniques into your holiday party schedule and stay slim through December. There won’t be a need to diet in January if you do!
Kelly Stallings, MS, LPC