Surviving the Holidays (or any Festive Occasion)
‘Make a commitment – be conscious of your choices’
These are some strategies for handling festive occasions where food and alcohol are plentiful and temptations to get off track are everywhere. These strategies are the bullet points of the Holiday Survival Guide:
- Don’t go hungry – have food on hand
- Eat before you go to an event
- Treat the event as a small frequent meal not an eating frenzy
- Small plate – fill with protein veggies first
- Get creative in preparing foods – lots of healthy alternatives
- Get support – ask for help – call your health coach, friends, or other supportive people.
- After a party offer the leftovers to friends, neighbors, etc. esp. cakes and pies
- Plan ahead
- Chew your food! – take your time
- Manage your time more effectively – plan your day
- Exercise – walk! – get in motion – get the emphasis off of food
- Holidays are for social interaction, so make the focus on the activity or event and not the food
- One slip or over indulgence does not end your program – get back on track as soon as you realize you’ve gone off track (not: ‘I’ll get back on track tomorrow or Monday, or January”, but as soon as you become aware)
- Beware of alcohol- it’s easy to eat more once you’ve had a few drinks.
- Remember – it’s just one day
- Wear something you feel good in.
- Bring your own food to a potluck – make it lean and green
- Sit away from the food
- Traveling? Bring along a picture or something that inspires you to stay on track
- Keep your hands and mouth busy
Trying to stay at your healthy weight during the holiday season can be a challenge. Check out the Holiday Survival Guide for strategies to make it January without the need to make a new years resolution to get in shape!
Did you know that for every extra pound of weight your carry, you’re adding 3 – 5 pounds of extra pressure to your knees, hips, ankles and other joints?
So if you’re 40 pounds over your ideal weight according to your BMI, you’re adding an extra 120 to 200 pounds of pressure to your joints which greatly increases your risk of injury if you’re trying to lose weight by exercising.
If you’re overweight and sedentary, you want to ease into your exercise program, and ideally, after you’ve lost some weight and taken some pressure off your joints.
The holiday season brings friends, family, and loved ones together to celebrate. It can also be a stressful time, wreaking havoc on our waistlines and undoing our weight-loss efforts if we’re not careful. This year, keep the commitment you’ve made to yourself, your health, and your waist by developing a survival strategy to help you successfully navigate those sometimes tricky holiday situations.
- Don’t go hungry!
Enjoying a delicious Medifast Meal or snack with protein before attending a holiday party will help keep you satisfied.
- Avoid portion distortion.
Use the smallest plate available for built-in portion control. Limit or skip foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value.
- Get creative
You don’t necessarily have to give up traditional favorites…just modify them. Stay on track on the 5 & 1 Plan by focusing on the Lean & Green Meal recommendations.
- Ask for help
Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself! Get your family and friends into the holiday spirit by assigning tasks for everyone
Help yourself by choosing a clean-up job away from food (such as washing the dishes) while someone else clears plates and puts away leftovers.
- Planning ahead
Develop a plan of action, a written strategy detailing the steps you’ll take to keep yourself on track with your weight- and health-management goals.
- Choose non-tempting treats.
Choose to make or buy holiday treats that are easy for you to resist.
- Chew, chew, chew!
It typically takes the stomach 15 to 20 minutes to signal the brain that you’ve had enough food. Savor each bite by eating slowly and allow yourself to hear when you are full.
- Hectic schedules
Manage your time by writing out your daily schedule before your events. Determine what you can do in specific time frames and only commit to what you know you can accomplish.
- Make time for your body
Exercise can help you burn calories, which helps you to balance your calories consumed with your calories expended.
- Focus on friends
Holidays are intended to be social gatherings with friends and family, not eating frenzies. Emphasize the social interaction. Plan activities to make the day special.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint
If you find yourself doing some unintended overeating, the best thing to do is get back on track immediately rather than waiting to restart or allowing this one lapse to become a relapse into old habits.
- Think your drink
Opt for zero-calorie beverages such as unsweetened iced tea, coffee, seltzer water, diet soda, and water.
If you plan on serving candy or sweets, purchase or make these items at the last possible moment.
- Strut your stuff.
Use the holidays as an opportunity to be a role model for healthier living to those around you.
- Bring your own
If your event is a potluck, bring a healthy dish that you can enjoy on your Medifast Program. If your event is not a potluck, bring a hostess gift of fresh vegetables and low-fat dip.
- Location , location , location
Position yourself as far from the food as possible. Sitting or standing too close can be tempting and lead to overeating.
- Food gifts
Well before the holidays, ask your friends and family to forgo food gifts.
- Travel with your inspiration
If traveling this holiday season, take along something that inspires you to stay on track with your health goals.
- Keep your hands and mouth busy
Put a stick of sugar-free gum or a sugar-free mint in your mouth to stop the nibbling. Keep
your hands busy and away from tempting foods.
Don’t forget, we don’t have to wait for a holiday to take the time to be thankful for the good things we have in our lives. By being thankful every day, you can learn to focus on the positive, and this positive thinking will help you stay healthy and well.
Enjoy the holidays!
Click on the following link to complete your health assessment:
Click on this link to view and download the Primary Care Provider letter: pcp-letter