Weight Loss at Holidays and Special Occassions Tips

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What are some ways to workout during the holidays?

Fight Holiday Stress With Exercise

The holidays can be a stressful time for a lot of people. Unpleasant memories, too much responsibility or family conflict can lead to increased tension during the holidays. Remember, holiday stress can negatively affect your weight by causing emotional eating. Exercise can play an important role in reducing this stress and elevating your mood. Here are some suggestions.

  • Do a little extra shopping at the mall. Get in as many steps as you can during your trip.
  • If pressed for time, remember that a shortened workout is better than no workout at all.
  • If you live in colder climates, take advantage of the winter season by exploring cold weather activities, like cross country skiing or ice skating.
  • Recruit a friend or family member to workout with you.
  • Sign up for an organized fitness event, like a 5k or a charity walk.
  • Try to maintain your regular exercise schedule as much as possible.

What should my weight loss goal be during the holidays?

Tis' The Season ... to Change Your Attitude

Do you give up your weight loss efforts during the holidays? You are not alone. Studies show that many Americans gain between five to seven pounds during the holiday season. There is no question that the temptation to overindulge is everywhere. However, you shouldn't give in to the weight gain because in most cases, you won't get rid of the excess weight over the following year. This holiday weight gain adds up and is difficult to get off. A good realistic goal or “holiday attitude” is to maintain your weight through the holidays. You can still enjoy the season while feeling good about your accomplishment. Letting yourself go is not the answer. If you've developed healthy eating habits over the previous 10.5 months, don't blow all that you've worked for in the last 1.5 months. By practicing healthy eating behavior throughout the year, hopefully, you will not feel the need to go wild during the holidays.

How do I overcome holiday excuses?

Overcoming Excuses for Holiday Eating

For those attempting to lose weight, the holiday season can be a difficult time. Do you raise a "white flag" of surrender during Thanksgiving and the holidays that follow? Holidays provide an easy excuse to eat whatever you want. Below are three of the most common holiday excuses used for overeating and how to combat them.

Excuse: Thanksgiving and Christmas only come around once a year.

Solution: While the holidays do only come once a year, you probably have other gatherings, parties and dinner outings year round. For special occasions, plan on when you are going to splurge. Eat a few less calories earlier in the day so you can eat a few more in the evening. You might choose one tempting food per party and enjoy every bite.

Excuse: I will offend the host if I don't sample the food.

Solution: Well-intentioned friends and family can sometimes insist you try their latest creation. Be sure to use a small plate and control your portion size. Also, only eat a small amount of dessert before moving away from the table. If you'd rather not try anything, be assertive and let the host know that you really aren't hungry and will try something next time.

Excuse: I need to keep desserts around the house for my family and company.

Solution: Keeping high calorie desserts in your house can be bad news for faithful dieters. You are likely to eat more of these desserts than your company will. The solution is to eliminate this temptation altogether or prepare healthier options.

Can a holiday meal be healthy?

Lighten Up Your Holiday Meal

Lighten Up Your Holiday Meal

Your holiday spread doesn't have to be packed with high calorie entrées and desserts. Selecting the right foods and the appropriate substitutions can produce a meal that tastes great and is also lower in calories. Let's use the common Thanksgiving meal as an example:


Baked Turkey: choose plain turkey, as opposed to the butter-basted type. You'll lower the fat and sodium. Remove the skin and when roasting, baste with chicken broth.

Dressing: substitute a lower sodium stuffing mix and add healthy ingredients like apples, celery and onions.

Gravy: Chill the gravy first and use a strainer or skim ladle to remove the fat from the drippings.

Side items

Mashed potatoes: replace whole milk with skim. Use low-calorie margarine instead of butter

Green bean casserole: use low sodium soups and low fat cheese.

Sweet Potatoes/Yams: serve them baked instead of candied. Keep an eye on the sugar and butter toppings.

When making desserts, substitute as many healthful ingredients as possible. The alternative sweetener SPLENDA is also a great option for baked products. You only need to use 1/2 cup of SPLENDA® for baking to replace the sweetness of one cup of sugar.

What are some tips to curb my holiday eating?

Eating Tips to Survive the Holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time for those who are weight conscious. Tempting high-calorie, high-fat foods are commonplace at holiday parties. Try some of these survival tips to help you eat less during this holiday season.

  • Find a friend who is also looking to lose a few pounds or maintain their weight over the holidays. Use this partner to help you stick with your healthy eating plan.
  • Eat a small, healthy snack such as a bowl of cereal, soup or some fruit before your holiday get-togethers.
  • Make sure to eat a large salad with one serving of dressing before most of your meals.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Enjoy one or two drinks at your party and then switch to water or diet soda.
  • Get rid of all unhealthy leftovers. Give them to your children, relatives, and friends or throw them out.
  • Take a healthy entrée to your holiday party. This way you'll have at least one thing you can feel good about eating.
  • Don't use the holidays as an excuse to overeat. There are only a few "days" within the season that are actually celebrated. If you were only to indulge during these days, you probably wouldn't gain weight at all. It's all of the days in between that can blow it for you.
  • Finally, be sure not to forget what holidays are truly about – spending time with family and friends. Find creative, family-oriented activities that don't include food.

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Jerry Mayo
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