Change Your Environment, Change Your Expectations, Change Your OutcomeThe holidays are coming! If only the holidays involved just three days of festive eating — but for most of us, the holidays include several weeks of overeating and stress! This doesn’t have to happen! You can decide that you will have a zero-gain holiday season by following these simple steps.
1. Know where you are starting fromObtain a Body Composition Analysis and from there set a realistic goal to create a zero-gain environment.
2. Plan aheadKeep healthy foods on hand and bank calories prior to and after holiday food events. If you are going to a party, bring a platter of vegetables with a low fat dip, so you know you will have something to nibble on at the party. Keep alcohol to a minimum. Switch to diet ginger ale or Perrier with a slice of lemon after your first or second drink. If you are dining out, take smaller portions of the high calorie foods and larger portions of the lower calorie items, like salad, vegetables or fruit. When you arrive at the party, avoid going directly to the food area. Greet, mingle, have a low calorie beverage before selecting your food choices — conversation is calorie-free! If you are at a buffet, take time to peruse the entire spread, then choose the foods you REALLY want to try. After you choose your food, walk to the opposite end of the room to avoid temptation.
3. Find a buddy who shares your goals and track your behaviors dailyThroughout the holiday season, take time to use social networking, journaling & online food logging for an extra layer of social support. You may do the tracking in a small notebook, or you may wish to check out some websites that offer free tracking of food and exercise, such as Sparkpeople.com, MyDailyPlate.com or FitDay.com. During the holidays, it is helpful to be talking to someone who shares your goals. Find a workout partner or enlist the help of your spouse and family in your plan to take it easy during the holidays so they can be part of your support team. During the holidays, stress can cause snack attacks, so shop for zero-gain foods and snacks: light versions of popsicles, fudgesicles, fruit, vegetables, cheese sticks, low-fat no-added-sugar yogurt, Laughing Cow cheese, whole grain crackers. Visual cues trigger your brain to eat, so put zero-gain foods in your path.
4. Determine how you will handle food differently this holiday season and write a list of things to doIf you were besieged with holiday food every day in the break room last year, you might set a goal to handle it better this year. If you went all out with your full-fat holiday fare for family and friends last year, you might decide to try some lighter recipes that will keep you and your guests from feeling stuffed! Write a list of things to do (such as take a walk, call a friend or do some holiday cleaning) to have available for when you feel bored, angry, frustrated, lonely, depressed or have other feelings that lead to cravings. In January ask yourself “How did you do?”— Once the holidays are over, assess your weight to see if you achieved a zero gain. If so, congratulations! If you find that your weight is above your target, check with HGB Weight Management at 517-541-5839 to sign up for a Wednesday evening free, information session to learn more about how a medically monitored program can help you achieve your goal in the New Year.