Holiday Weight Loss TipsPosted: Nov 01 in Weight loss, Weight Management Strategies by Dr. Lazarus
Holiday weight loss can be tough – let’s face it – people can gain a lot of weight during the holidays. Endless high caloric foods, big parties with families, leftovers, vacations… Not to mention short days, long nights, and cold weather here in Colorado. What is one who is trying to lose weight to do to avoid gaining weight during these challenging months?
In this article, I’ll review some of my favorite holiday weight loss tips so you can avoid gaining weight between Christmas and New Year celebrations. Instead of focusing on trying to not eat, or focusing on trying to exercise when you are exhausted, these tips will help keep your appetite and energy levels in check so you can maintain your physical activity and don’t feel starving all the time!
Holiday weight loss tips…
- Get the proper amount of sleep.
Let’s face it – with the time change to normal time, by the time we get home from work it is dark outside. A lot of people report feeling jet-lagged from November until March. To combat the seasonal blues, get the right amount of sleep! Stay on a schedule – same bed time and wakeup time every day. By getting a good night’s sleep, you won’t be so tired all the time. And let’s face it – for most, tired equals hungry, or even worse, hangry! Getting the right amount of sleep is key for any other holiday weight loss strategy to be effective.
- Be active at least an hour a day – even if the weather is miserable.
With the poorer weather in late fall and winter here in Colorado, many people find themselves inside more and outside less. This puts us in closer proximity to the kitchen, pantry, and bar, and further from physical activity. People who successfully keep weight off through the holidays are typically active an hour a day – or more! Come up with a plan for physical activity and dedicate an hour a day to it. For me, this means I get to watch one Netflix or AppleTV show every day!
- Stay on a schedule
In addition to going to bed the same time and waking up the same time, try to plan your physical activity at the same time each day. And, try to plan your eating and water throughout the day – what time is breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner? Sticking to a schedule with help keep your energy and focus sharp, and reduce wasting willpower trying to figure out whether or not to be active, or trying to say “No” to an unanticipated eating or drinking opportunity.
- Mind your schedule when you book travel plans
Traveling is hard enough without it disrupting physical activity and eating plans. Try to plan travel (car or plane) with respect to your schedule. For example, for many a red eye may be convenient and cheep, but then it takes us 3 days to recover from the lost sleep. For others, flying after work seems like a good plan – but then we miss our workout, fly during dinner, and end up eating fast food at 10:30 PM. Try planning your travel so you can stick with your healthy eating and physical activity plans and maintain weight loss in spite of your traveling.
- Don’t show up to events hungry
We tend to overeat early in meals because we show up starving. Have an Optifast drink or something similar shortly before the Thanksgiving feast – you will show up NOT starving. Skip the high-caloric appetizers. Enjoy the delicious proteins and non-starchy vegetables, and be careful with the starches. And whatever you do, don’t take home the leftovers. Remember, there are two ways to spell “Waist.”
- Eat the Colors of Fall, not Winter
Fall brings us all the delicious colors – orange and yellow squash, green zucchini, red peppers. Enjoy all the beautiful colors in your food! Unfortunately winter brings us white – white bread, white rice, white pasta. Stick with the fall colors all season! Make your plate of food look like Fall!
- Avoid Perfection
Perfection is the enemy of any well-intentioned weight loss program. Avoid trying to be perfect. A bite or two of anything is always fine!
- ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS!
Remember that the holidays are a time to ENJOY your friends and family. Focus on what is most important to you – these relationships. Don’t let food get in the way of having a fabulous holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving, and all the other holidays that follow!