Are you determined to stop holiday weight gain this year? Have some of those pounds already been creeping on without your permission? You’re far from alone. The average American will gain ten pounds over the holiday season. Some of it will come off pretty easily in the new year. Some of it will decide to stick around and will still be there by the next holiday season.
It’s Hard to Stop Holiday Weight Gain
This time of year, even when you’re dedicated to stop holiday weight gain, it’s certainly easier said than done. At a time when you’re taking part in holiday potluck lunches at work, Christmas parties, and when the break room is full of home baked cookies and treats, it feels like there are calories, sugars and fats everywhere you look. They’re unavoidable!
It feels like there are calories, sugars and fats everywhere you look. They’re unavoidable!
You can’t realistically expect yourself to stick to carrot sticks all through the holidays while everyone else is enjoying your favorite seasonal goodies, even with the best diet pills. All too many of us think that deprivation is the way to go when it comes to being able to stop holiday weight gain. Unfortunately, very few of us will successfully achieve that goal.
Why Deprivation Rarely Works
Depriving yourself of all your favorite holiday foods is nearly never effective. There are many reasons for this. When you’re continually turning down all the fatty, sugary, salty foods at parties and that are offered to you throughout the holiday season, it can:
- Make you feel socially isolated
- Make you feel like you’re not enjoying your life
- Make you feel as though you’re missing out on the fun part of the holidays
These are powerful and very unpleasant feelings. Individually, they’re uncomfortable. Together, they can have negative effects including compounding symptoms of depression – which are already commonplace during the holidays – and they can lead us to give up on our weight control efforts altogether.
When your strategy is simply to avoid taking part in eating all the holiday goodies, it’s typically an all-or-nothing mindset. Therefore, when you finally give up on it, you’ll dive right into eating all those yummy treats without a care for portion size or reasonability.
What to Do to Keep Control
Instead of depriving yourself, stop holiday weight gain by allowing yourself the foods and treats you like. That said, do it within reasonable and very practical boundaries. Enjoy your favorite cookies and dig into that top dish you can’t wait to taste each year. That said, plan around it. Know that you should only have a reasonable portion.
You don’t need four cookies when one or two will do. You don’t need to fill half your plate with a creamy dish when a much smaller portion will bring you just as much enjoyment but with a fraction of the caloric impact. If you know you’re going to a party in the evening, make smart eating choices at breakfast and lunchtime. Consider having a salad before heading out to a party so you’re not hitting the buffet on an empty stomach.
This way, you’ll still get to take part in all your December favorites while still doing your best to stop holiday weight gain.