How to Stick to Your Diet over the Holidays

If you have a rational mind, you never have to ask why weight loss is the most common New Year’s resolution. With so many parties and feasts falling at the end of the year, not to mention the cold weather that plagues much of the country and keeps people indoors, it’s only natural to put on a few pounds during the holiday season. Then there’s the added stress of seeing family, playing host or hostess, buying gifts, and generally ensuring that everyone around you is having a good time. Even those of us that are normally capable of sticking with a diet and exercise regimen can fall off the wagon at this tumultuous time of year. How can you overcome and stick to your diet during the holidays? Here are a few tips and tricks to employ.

A good place to start is by reducing stress. If you’re always the one hosting holiday parties, hand the duty off to someone else this year. Or if that’s not possible due to space constraints or other issues, be prepared to delegate duties. Instead of cooking a whole meal by yourself, make the main dish and ask guests to handle sides, drinks, and desserts. Whoever doesn’t cook can handle cleaning. And if you can, consider hiring help. It may be worth the cost of a cleaning or catering service to reduce your stress – and associated stress eating.

The next step is going to be a bit more difficult. You have to be aware of what you’re eating. This is a hard sell during the holidays for a couple of reasons. First, you don’t want to focus on food, particularly what you shouldn’t be eating and are enjoying time with your family. Second, you’re likely to be inundated by food gifts from family, friends, and coworkers, and they’re never veggie platters. Finally, you probably don’t want to avoid the many delicious dishes that only get made once a year. But if you want to lose weight you have to remain vigilant.

The good news is that you can enjoy all the foods you love and still stay on track for targeted weight loss. For example, you can significantly reduce portion size. It’s tempting to take heaping a spoonful of all your favorites and load your plate high. Instead, stick to a salad plate, take just enough for a bite of each dish, and take the time to savor your food. Once you’ve had a couple of bites you’re not getting the same enjoyment from a dish anyway, so start small, keeping in mind that you could always go back for an extra bite of your favorite.

You should also try to avoid alcohol. Not only is alcohol comprised of empty calories, but it also lowers your inhibitions, causing you to care less about the fact that you’re ruining your diet. If you want to learn how to lose weight in 5 days, the holidays may not seem like the best time. But there’s no time like the present to address the temptations that are part and parcel of this season. Making a plan in advance is the best way to stay on track to reach your weight loss goals, regardless of the time of year.

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