Many folks who are on a weight loss journey are intimidated by the holiday season. And it’s really no surprise why. We’re faced with upcoming family parties and get togethers, holiday work events and the such, featuring all sorts of diet-unfriendly food selections.
Aside from the obvious fattening menus starring buttery mashed potatoes and decadent pecan pies, there’s another problem. The holiday season often forces us to be on the go constantly. When we’re in a rush, we can skip meals resulting in extreme hunger later. This opens the door for poor choices, like the burger joint drive thru.
And then there are the oh so generous co workers and bosses bringing in tasty treats and leaving them in the break room for all to enjoy. Try walking passed those donuts without grabbing one. It’s difficult to pass up temptations like these when they’re in reach all day.
We can all agree that this is not an easy time of the year to stick to our weight loss goals. But it’s also not impossible to stick it out and not let the holidays destroy our progress. So here we have 5 super easy to implement ways to not only stop the holiday weight gain, but quite possibly push you in the right direction towards weight loss!
1. Set A Goal
Seems like a simple enough concept. Yet it’s absolutely crucial to set a weight loss goal! If you don’t know where the finish line is, it’s harder to imagine getting there.
You must set a realistic goal. If your goal is to lose twenty pounds in one month you’re likely going to fail. That’s because losing so much weight so quickly is nearly impossible, and when it is possible it’s almost always unhealthy weight loss.
When your goal is unrealistic, and you’re not seeing the numbers you want to on your scale, it’s extremely defeating and your motivation begins to break. Soon you find yourself giving up and that’s no way to reach optimal health.
Instead, set a goal that is realistic. Let’s say you still wish to lose twenty pounds; consider setting a goal to get to your ideal weight within four months. Now instead of attempting to lose all twenty pounds right away, you have a realistic timeline and you don’t need to starve yourself or feel down when your results aren’t appearing as quickly as you’d like.
2. Check Your Progress
It’s important to regularly check your progress any time you’re trying to lose weight. But it is especially important to see where you’re at with your goals during a season where it’s easy to veer off track.
Don’t allow others to fool you into thinking you should just go with the flow of consuming guilty pleasures; it’s the holidays after all. Being overly loose with your goals will only cause you to be further from where you want to be.
And once January rolls along, you realize you have more rolls than you did a few months ago and you’re not properly fitting into your clothing. You don’t want to be in that place. So continue to check your progress regularly. Seeing a difference will increase your motivation to keep going.
3. Give Yourself Accountability
When I worked alongside a coworker who was also attempting to lose weight, we would hold each other accountable for what we were eating. And do you know what? It actually helped us with weight loss. Because when she reached for that cupcake, or when I went for those chocolate covered almonds, we would notice these small actions and keep each other accountable.
When you commit to something, and have some sort of accountability for your actions, you can be more successful at achieving your goals. Sometimes relying on willpower alone won’t get you where you need to be. Team up with a friend, coworker, or join an accountability group to help you lose weight during the holidays.
4. Stay Active
We can all agree that the holidays can be a busy and stressful time. If you can find some time for yourself between the shopping, working, gift wrapping, and baking then you’re considered lucky. But we need to make time for our personal health. And that means we need to take the time to stay active.
Don’t be sedentary. Invite your family to go for a walk after dinner, or take a walk around your work building during lunch hour. There’s no excuse to stop being active especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
5. Treat Yourself- In Moderation
Honestly, denying yourself that piece of cake or one of your favorite holiday meals just because you have a weight loss goal in motion can actually make you eat more once you finally give in. “Everything in moderation” isn’t just an empty quote. You can have your holiday favorites and still obtain your goals as long as you remember portion size.
Let’s remember that the holiday season is not all about food and gifts. It is a time to cherish and enjoy every second with our loved ones, and to reminisce on good memories with those that have passed. Be optimistic and positive about your weight loss goals, but do not let them consume you and make you forget about what’s truly important. May you and yours have a Merry Christmas!