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How do I avoid gaining weight during the holidays?

Eating well this time of year is far from easy.

While that is a lot, there are still over 300 other days a year to create and instill healthy habits!

It is doable, but not easy.

People are constantly bringing in treats to work. You have tons of holiday parties to go to. And everyone seems to always want to go out and eat and drink.

Because this seems to be the season of eating, I then see a ton of clients stop tracking their food and complete give up on all the great habits they’ve developed.

But honestly the worst part is, they start making excuses and feel guilty every second of every day.

Which just makes them stress more and enjoy themselves even less, keeping them in a negative downward cycle that leads to binging and completely giving up on their goals.

So of course at some point someone will say, “Well there just is no way to continue to lose weight during the holidays.”

And yea…losing weight during the holidays can be difficult to do. It most definitely takes a lot of planning and self-control.

But reaching your goals and staying on track during the holidays doesn’t mean you have to continue to move forward by leaps and bounds.

Too often we only think of success as moving forward.

But maintaining the progress we’ve already made is also a victory, especially during times when it is tougher for us to strive for perfection.

So when it comes to holidays, healthy eating and weight loss, I think the proper question to consider is , “How do I avoid gaining BACK the weight during the holidays?”

(Notice I’m not talking about losing more OR about starting a healthy diet during the holidays. Sorry but I’m just not big on trying to start creating new habits at a time when most people can’t even stick with well ingrained habits…)

How do you balance life with your goals to MAINTAIN the progress you’ve already made?

Well for one….If you’re going to cheat…ENJOY IT!

Even worse than the bad food is the stress and guilt that accompanies breaking with our plan or diet.

So just don’t feel guilty. If you make the decision to cheat, ENJOY IT!

For two, just because a food, a treat, is there, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Pick and choose the things you truly want to eat and don’t feel obligated to eat the other things just because they are there.

You don’t have to deprive yourself of every treat or avoid eating at every holiday party; however, all too often people just eat because it is there even though they don’t truly want it.

Don’t do that. Eat the foods you truly want and exercise the self-control to avoid the foods that are “just there.”

That will help you control your portions to prevent weight gain AND prevent you from entering a downward negative spiral.

It will give you something to enjoy AND BE PROUD OF. You will not feel deprived because you got the food you wanted; however, you will also be able to be proud of the fact that you didn’t let a little treat completely derail all your progress.

For three, life interferes all the time and we have to learn how to deal with it.

We have to find the balance.

If we want to reach our goals, we can’t constantly be like, “Well there is just too much going on right now.” We can’t just say that every time something comes up…Because let’s face it, something comes up like every week!

We have to learn how to balance life with our goals.

We have to understand that our mental attitude is more important even than the foods we eat.

We have to know whether even a small indulgence will lead to us falling off the wagon or if it will keep us from feeling deprived.

We have to learn to deal with the unexpected and not only make choices, but not dwell on them.

If you want to avoid gaining weight during the holidays, and please note I’m talking about MAINTAINING the progress you’ve already made not about losing more weight or starting a healthy diet, you have to remember that reaching your goals isn’t about perfection – that every day you don’t need to be moving forward.

That sometimes it is simply about not doing too much damage to the progress we’ve already made so that we keep our healthy habits intact.

Enjoy the holidays. Don’t stress over a cookie. Just don’t feel obligated to eat everything you see!

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