We all face the upcoming “battle of the holiday bulge”.  Sounds of celebration , social gatherings, and a flood of gourmet foods and desserts tempt us into over indulgence throughout the holidays.  When spring comes we find ourselves having to shed that “winter coat” we gained in order to fit into our summer clothes.  Below are a few tips to help you avoid excess weight gain and still enjoy the holidays:

Do’s

Allow yourself to indulge. We all have emotional ties to our foods.  The holidays are a special time when food is a part of vibrant childhood memories and celebration.  To deprive oneself of a little decadence during this time feels like a punishment.  We tend to begin to resent our best efforts to abstain. We get frustrated or discouraged and rebel, quitting with a big fat binge.

Set limits. Allowing yourself to indulge does not mean having a winter long feeding frenzy!  It means to decide upon some reasonable limits within which you can have the foods you need to have as well as the foods you want to have.  For example eating your “good for you” foods first, or having a piece of pie rather than the whole pie.

Listen to your body. Pay attention to how your body is responding to the foods that you eat.  This will help you not to over eat and to be more particular about what you are eating.

Continue to exercise! Do your best to keep with your normal exercise routine.  The holiday season is also a time of added stress.  Stress hormones, especially when combined with a lack of activity, can interfere with your ability to burn fat.  Exercise will help you escape the holiday stresses and increase your body’s ability to deal with stress.  If visiting family is your reason for skipping your usual workout, invite them to join you for a walk, or attend a class at the gym if they like.  Be creative!

Don’ts

Avoid punishing yourself. We all make mistakes!  Focus on getting back on track and anything positive that you have accomplished about eating or about taking care of your body.  Wallowing in a mistake is the best way to make it last.

Avoid overeating. When you are full you are full.  There is no point in forcing the issue.  Overeating can come with an onslaught of nasty side effects; bloating, gas, burping, upset stomach, fatigue and discomfort, not to mention weight gain … who likes any of those?

Avoid getting caught up in the moment. Try to keep perspective as you are being tempted.  Remember the “big” picture.  Before you know it warm weather will be here, and those big baggy sweaters will be back in the closet.  Remember how you felt even just immediately after the last time you over indulged?

Do — Have a fun and healthy Holiday Season!

~ Bliss Lifestyle Therapies