Winter is coming. No, this isn’t a post about Game of Thrones. But winter is definitely on the way, and with it comes the holidays. I don’t know about you, but the holidays are Enemy #1 for my waistline. Last year was the first time I didn’t gain any weight over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I’m going to share with you just how I managed that with a little survival guide.
UGH Not Another One
I know, I know. Like you need another holiday survival guide telling you to not eat bread and stay away from parties that might have pie. I promise you, that’s not what this is about. There is no eat this and not that in my survival guide! This is Amazing Mimi, not Jillian Michaels. This is just what worked for me and the mister. The only promise I make is that your holiday will be just a little less stressful over your scale.
Repeat After Me:
“I am not a turkey. I will not stuff myself like one.” Start saying that now, and don’t stop until New Year’s Day. Say it to yourself every time you are presented with food. You are not a turkey. Don’t stuff yourself like one. Have a slice of pie. Have a cookie. Eat a piece of fudge. Just don’t have all three at once!
When you sit down to a Thanksgiving feast or Christmas dinner, repeat it. “I am not a turkey. I will not stuff myself like one.” Take a little of everything you like. Enjoy every single bite of all of the things you love. Yes, even the mashed potatoes and the stuffing. But if you have to loosen your belt or unbutton your pants…yeah, you’ve done stuffed yourself like a turkey.
Dessert, It’s what’s for dinner
Dessert plates, that is. Do you know how much food you can fit onto a normal size dinner plate? A lot. Do you know how much food you can fit on a dessert plate? A lot less. If you are in danger of stuffing yourself at a family gathering or office party, swap out your dinner plate for a dessert plate. If you limit yourself to filling that plate only twice, you are more likely to eat less of everything, or more of just the things you really love. Trust me, if you fill it twice, you will eat plenty.
Let’s say you aren’t really fond of cranberry sauce, but every year you always take a little to be polite. Well, if you don’t have room on your little plate, I guess you can’t take any. Sorry, Aunt Kathy.
No Nap for You!
It’s a Thanksgiving tradition. You eat until you want to burst and then you go into a food coma. Don’t do it! And stop blaming that poor turkey for you wanting to go hibernate until Christmas Eve. Turkey actually has less tryptophan than chicken.
The real culprit for sending you into log sawing mode is overeating, and all the carbs and sugar you ingest. A good way to stave off nap time is to get up and go for a walk, turn on some music and dance while you do the dishes, or go push your kids on the swing. Get your muscles moving, and burn off some of that food to help you get through the after-meal slump.
Treat it like a cheat
Treating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve like cheat days has two wonderful benefits. For one, you are less likely to feel guilty about your indulgences, which lowers the amount of stress you feel surrounding your diet. Two, you are far more likely to get right back on track the next day, just like you would after any other cheat day.
One of the big problems we face on our cheat days is leftovers. When we can’t finish a meal, we have to decline taking leftovers from restaurants. If we bring it home, we will eat it, and probably not when we should.
The same applies to holiday leftovers. If you are eating elsewhere, don’t take home any doggy bags. You’re not a dog. But what if the holidays are at your house this year? Ply your guests with all your carbs and sugars to take with them. If they don’t want them: Toss Them.
Oh my god, did I just tell you to throw out food?! Yes. Yes, I did. This was seriously one of the hardest things I ever had to get used to doing when we changed our diet. We are told to eat everything on our plate, to not let anything go to waste. There are starving children in Africa. If you think your leftover green bean casserole will stay good on the trip to Africa, by all means, send it. If not, then let it go.
Keep the foods that are nourishing and safe for your daily diet. Turkey, heck yeah! Stuffing? Probably not.
Scale back your weigh-ins
Let’s face it, you are likely to gain a pound or two over the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep them! One thing that the mister and I do to stay sane, is to put our scale away for a week. We weigh on Saturday morning. If we eat a little too much on Thanksgiving, and then step on the scale on Saturday, how would we feel?
Probably discouraged. But, if we treat Thanksgiving like a cheat day, leave the scale alone on Saturday, and then come back and weigh the next week on our regular schedule, the chances of us having lost all the water weight, and burned off all the Thanksgiving goodies is MUCH higher.
My suggestion is to stay off the scale until you’ve had at least a week of regular eating and exercise to help stabilize your weight.
Pretty painless, right?
That’s it. That’s all there is to Mimi’s Holiday Survival Guide. Just remember, if you gain a pound or two or even ten, it’s not the end of the world. We are amazing creatures and we have the ability to change our habits and lose any weight that we put on. The best way to survive is by living.
Daily Dose of Music