12 Ways to Keep from Sabotaging your Weight Loss Progress During the Holidays

  1. Scan the entire spread first and be selective with your food choices – ask yourself, “is it worth the calories?” Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. When it’s not, move on.
  2. When the food is worth the calories, be mindful. Eat slowly. Savor everything that is good about the food – the smell, the mouthfeel, the taste. Take it all in!
  3. By eating slowly, not only are you taking the time to enjoy the food, but you will also allow yourself time to feel satisfied and full sooner.
  4. Once you’ve eaten, remove yourself from the room where the food is to avoid mindless grazing.
  5. Avoid the feast or famine mentality. Saving up for the big day may backfire. People who avoid eating all day tend to consume more calories at the end of the day. You’ll end up feeling deprived and then “reward” yourself by overindulging. When you come in well fueled, you’ll make better choices and be less driven to overeat.
  6. Fill your plate with non-starchy veggies first. By eating your low-calorie veggies, you will begin to feel full sooner, which will allow you to eat less in the long run.
  7. Once you’ve eaten one plate, wait 10-20 minutes before going back for more. Giving yourself permission for more helps to avoid the feeling that you’re missing out. Waiting gives your stomach time to feel full, which will allow you to be more selective with food choices and gives you better resolve to eat smaller portions.
  8. Avoid calorie-containing beverages. This includes alcohol. If drinking is “worth the calories” then be mindful of how much you are consuming. Keep in mind alcohol is high in calories!
  9. WALK!!! After your meal, get up and stretch, then go for a walk. Getting a little exercise not only burns a few calories, but it always gets your blood flowing and releases good feeling endorphins, which (1) makes you feel better / more satisfied, (2) allows you to feel full sooner.
  10. Offer to bring your own lower-calorie dish. That way there will be at least one food item that meets your low-calorie need.
  11. Enjoy yourself! Make Thanksgiving more about the time with friends and family and less about the food. Time with friends and family can satisfy well beyond the holiday. Food, if over-consumed can leave you feeling worse once the Holiday has passed.
  12. Remember, if you eat 2-3 meals per day for 365 days, you have 730-1,095 meals per year. You can afford to enjoy, in moderation with these tips in mind, a few meals where you don’t eat perfectly.