Whether you have been working at weight loss, weight maintenance, or simply eating healthier, it's easy to yield to temptation and eat unhealthy and in excess during the holiday season. It's possible to partake in all the holiday fun without compromising your waistline or goals. Here are a few tips to not let the holidays lure you onto a path that compromises your objective.

Stay committed to your goals: Remember staying fit for life means you are in it for the long haul. If your goal is weight loss, maintenance, or health don't lose sight of your goal. Remind yourself of all the reasons you elected to pursue your goal to begin with. Forget the time clock and embrace a future where your goal is always in sight. Tell yourself, "I'm in it for as long as it takes regardless of how many hurdles, set backs or obstacles I face."

Look out for the con man: Don't listen to bogus rationalizations that give you permission to eat in a way that is contrary to your goals. Let the voice of reason reign and your confidence in yourself with grow. Know when you ignore the con man you show your strength.

Beware of triggers: You may choose to eat less restrictively at a holiday party or meal but that doesn't mean you have to excessively overeat. Instead of overeating, load up on the protein and vegetables, plus drink lots of water or diet beverages. It's better to eat more calories from extra protein, healthy fat, or high fiber carbs, then unhealthy sugar. Don't listen to the voice that says you are going to eat whatever you want at dinner so you might as well eat all day. Remember if you follow your eating program all day, that nighttime meal will be more enjoyable.

Moderation: If you choose to have a particular food item at a special occasion dinner, do it in moderation. If you choose to have one of those homemade rolls, have one not three. If you choose to have dessert, have one serving or a few bites and not a plate full. Often a small taste is enough to satisfy your desire but beware of your kryptonite. If you have a food that spirals you out of control or you cannot limit, beware, and stay away. One bite will never be enough.

Don't let a lapse be a relapse: Just because you overate at one meal is not a reason to now eat for three days. Get right back on track and you will learn how to face those special occasions.

Let the scale be information: Weigh yourself once a week and get the data. Learn from the numbers and choose your path accordingly. If the numbers are increasing, recognize your pounding on the extra calories and rein it in. Eat clean for a few days and detox yourself from the sugar so you can participate in the next special occasion without adding more weight.

Beware of leftovers: When you entertain, freeze the leftovers you don't want to throw away and encourage your guests to take home the food you would be better off not consuming. When visiting others graciously decline the food they try to pile on you when you leave.
Exercise: Being active cannot eliminate the impact of excessive calories but it can minimize the damage and let you get away with a small amount of extra calories.

Look in the mirror: Don't hide from the truth. If you at your goal, face what you have accomplished and proudly wear it out. If you are on your way to your goal, look at the progress and keep at it. If you have indulged for a few days face the damage knowing you can repair it if you get back on your program.

The key to keeping off those extra pounds is staying committed to your goal and not let temptation unravel you. Eating right and exercising is an easy way to feel a sense of accomplishment. It's a natural self-esteem booster.

Happy Holidays!

About the Authors

Leslie Sokol

Leslie Sokol,Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, is the co-author of Think Confident, Be Confident.

Marci Fox, Ph.D.

Marci Fox, a licensed psychologist and international speaker, is the co-author of Think Confident, Be Confident.

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