The festive season brings with it many challenges to our weight loss goals and general self-care. The biggest self-sabotaging behavior is mindless eating, which nearly always leads to overeating. As this is something you will want to avoid as best you can, here are some festive tips to stay on track with your weight loss:
- Practice self-care first thing. Start the morning of a holiday outing on a centered, healthful note. Show yourself some love with a mindfulness meditation, a work out, a green juice, setting an intention—whatever is going to set the stage for a mindful day.
- Plan for pushy relatives or those that will be saying to you ‘go on, it’s Christmas you can indulge’. Every family has at least one: people who are concerned about what is and isn’t on your plate. You can stay on the path you know is right for you without sounding boring—simply decline unwanted food gracefully and graciously.
Bring a nourishing dish or two of your own to an invitation. This is a fantastic way to ensure that not only are you getting in some nutrients and supporting your health (and filling up your plate for those concerned family members), but you’re supporting the wellness of loved ones as well.
- Don’t pick at a buffet spread. Make up a plate. It can be so easy lose track how much you’re eating when bites of food float straight from the serving plate to your mouth with no plate in between! Remember, no finger eating!
- Use smaller plates and glasses. Another sneaky way that we consume more food and wine is by using oversized plates and glasses. When possible, choose the smaller dishes and glassware to keep an eye on your serving sizes. Take a smaller plate and glass with you and don’t worry about looking weird, just explain how important is to you to keep on with your plan.
- Survey the spread before filling up your plate. By getting a sense of what there is to eat, you can avoid heaping on excess mounds of unnecessary or inappropriate food, because you didn’t realise the can’t-miss items were at the back.
This way, you’ll make your plate with intention. Pile on the salads, veggies and lean protein, but don’t skip your favorites altogether! Those once-a-year dishes and family-favorite recipes can be the best part of festive eating! Just limit them.
If you can mindfully indulge, go for it. But be aware, if you feel like it might sabotage your healthy habits for weeks to come, you may want to pass.
- Sit away from the food. Try to avoid sitting or standing within arm’s reach of the food table. Keeping away means you can’t munch mindlessly for hours on end—you’ll have to consciously make a trip back to the spread if you want to top up your plate. (yes, don’t forget the plate rule…no finger eating!).
- Slow down and chew! It seems so simple, and yet with all the socialising going on, it’s so easy to forget being mindful and taking your time to really enjoy what you are eating. Pacing yourself as you work through your plate also allows you to enjoy the conversation! You will find you need a lot less food to feel satisfied if you take your time instead of shoveling it in without thinking about it.