While on your journey to a slimmer and healthier you, you will, of course, encounter delicious treats and meals, especially when the holidays roll around. I’m not going to tell you to pass on all the scrumptious food in front of you; rather, I offer tips I’ve learned along the way to help me get back on track when the festivities end.
I’m not going to tell you to pass on all the scrumptious food in front of you; rather, I offer tips I’ve learned along the way to help me get back on track when the festivities end.
The pumpkin pie is finished. The turkey is carved, the sweet cranberry sauce has been devoured and everyone is stuffed with stuffing. You may be feeling a tad guilty for overindulging, but don’t fret! You can still continue to lose weight despite the break you took during the holiday. Here are some tips to get you back on track once the celebrations are over!
Enjoy your dessert for the day
While losing the bulk of my weight, I wouldn’t let anything with sugar touch my lips. However, in the past couple of years, I’ve made exceptions on holidays where feasting is a major thing in my family, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. If we had delicious dishes and desserts, I thought I’d enjoy them in the spirit of the holiday with my family, but did so while remembering I had to go back to my healthy eating habits after the holidays.
One thing that helped me not lose complete sight of my weight loss goals during the feasting was that I picked only two desserts and two dishes I thought would be “worth the calories and sugar” in addition to the healthy items on the table. This means I didn’t eat everything in front of me, but chose a couple of desserts or a couple of unhealthy dishes that I wouldn’t normally eat but would enjoy. If this seems impossible, try portion control on the unhealthy items, and try to fill up on the healthy dishes. For example, have a very small slice of the desserts you want to try. Another thing I did was prepare for this day of feasting by making sure I continued to eat healthily and to exercise leading up to the holiday. It wasn’t a week of feasting; it was only a day (Thanksgiving) or two at most (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), so there were no excuses to indulge for weeks or months.
Get rid of unhealthy leftovers
Or better yet, don’t make too many unhealthy dishes or desserts so that you don’t have leftovers after the holiday is over. If your family is like mine and you end up cooking too much food, you end up with all these delicious leftovers after Thanksgiving. But don’t let that trap you! To avoid extending the Thanksgiving feasting for the rest of the week, get rid of the unhealthier treats. Give your guests some leftovers to take home, or share your desserts with your neighbours. If you’re still left with unhealthy food, leave it in the fridge, and if no one eats it, don’t be compelled to finish it off — use the compost.
Don’t let bad habits creep back
Since you let the reigns loose during the holidays, it’s very easy to return to old habits. Thinking “one cookie or chocolate bar won’t make a difference” is one bad habit I found myself getting into after some Christmases. But a cookie here and there begins to add up, and your perspective on healthy eating begins to shift back to your old outlook. When the bad habits creep back, so will the pounds eventually. Stay on track by mentally preparing yourself for post-holiday changes. Remind yourself that you’re making an exception on one day of celebration and merriment, but the day after, you’re back to healthy eating and your fitness regime. This way you won’t feel guilty if you decide to indulge during the festivities, since you know eating more healthily the day after and onward will make up for it. This also means all your hard work leading up to the holidays won’t be in vain, and you’re more likely to get back on track! You can even try to set goals, as I’ve done, to stay on track until Christmas Eve feasting. It may sound like an oxymoronic bribe to reward yourself for being good with food, but it’s worked for me, and it helps you enjoy the holidays without the guilt.
What better way to make up for all the pie you had this Thanksgiving than to get on the bike, elliptical or treadmill? Don’t use the “turkey makes me sleepy and lazy” excuse! Get back to your usual fitness regime as soon as you can after the holidays. You’ll feel more energetic and less guilty about indulging in all the goodies of the season. While working on your body, you’ll also mentally get back to your perspective on a healthy lifestyle and carry on with healthy diet choices.
Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!