Advance Preparation for the Holiday Season

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

November 19, 2013

Since the retail market begins the holiday season months in advance, why not start planning your holiday weight management strategies ahead of schedule too? You have made terrific progress in altering your lifestyle for better health, and you may be concerned about how to handle all the food, drinks, and desserts you will be confronted with in the upcoming party season. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you stay the course, maintain your weight, and feel your best going into the New Year.

  • Pull out your traditional recipes and see where healthier substitutions can be made. For example: When making stuffing, using whole wheat bread in place of white bread and cutting down on the amount of butter used by adding a flavorful stock can “dress” this favorite up to better meet your health goals.
  • Try a new recipe and set a new tradition!
  • Allow yourself a few indulgences and really savor them!
  • Keep up your exercise routine as best you can – even if you only have half the usual time available, stay with it!
  • Aim to maintain your current weight throughout the season rather than trying to continue to lose.
  • Get adequate sleep – it is easy to skimp here with the amount of extra work that needs to be done to prepare for the season, but sleep is vital for keeping stress levels down.
  • Don’t forget the power of visualization! Take a few moments each day and envision yourself at the various upcoming events you will be attending. Picture yourself making the choices that reflect the changes you’ve made thus far on your weight management journey. Here is some “food for thought” as you begin to see yourself…
    • Sidestepping snack foods that are often consumed mindlessly. Envision talking and enjoying the conversation away from the chip bowl!
    • Filling up on “real food” – lean meat, seafood, veggies, and fruits.
    • Keeping alcohol consumption under control.
    • Being selective with calorie-dense “extras” such as gravy, butter, and dressings, knowing that using less will still provide full flavor!
    • Eating things that are special to the holiday, such as grandma’s sweet potato casserole, and skipping the mashed potatoes or more common items that are available year round.
    • Feeling satisfied and not stuffed to the gills when you get up from the table.
    • Being in charge of your choices and finding pleasure in the whole party atmosphere rather than just focusing on the food.

Get started today as these strategies will assist you in putting your new and powerful skills for healthier living to use in a more challenging environment. By planning ahead and being aware of options, you will feel empowered knowing that you can adjust to any type of eating situation and still keep your weight in check. What a great way to head into the New Year!

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