The heaviest of eating season is upon us, with all of the holiday home-baked treats everyone seems to be dispensing on a regular basis, and combine that with your own seasonal home baking and fixing of special foods for the season. And then, there’s the luxe spread of party fare that just seems to get more irresistible with each year. Even grocery shopping finds all these scrumptious goodies being offered to shoppers as “samples” of what they can subsequently slip into their cart to bring home to their holiday celebration with friends and family. It’s everywhere.
- Decide When to Start: You’ve been wanting to lose weight. The choice is yours: Do you begin your weight loss battle right now, in the throes of the season of food, or do you postpone the effort and then either face the next couple of weeks with as much self-control as possible? Or, do you succumb to every craving that hits, and dispense with any sensibility for the stream of holiday taste treats while promising yourself that just as soon as January rolls around, you’ll be a good girl? Whether you begin your campaign to shed some pounds right during the most difficult time ever, or you decide to postpone the sacrifice, it’s going to be to your advantage if you keep that upcoming plan in mind as you gobble away at any tantalizing spread, because what goes in now will need to come off. The “extra” caloric consumption at tonight’s gathering will have to come off before you even get down to the weight you already wanted to lose before the party.
- Move: The importance to any weight loss campaign of increasing your activity cannot be overstated. You don’t have to go to extremes either. By continuing to eat as you normally do and increasing your activity level even moderately, you’ll be using more of your caloric consumption than if you had done nothing to ramp up your activity level. There’s a funny byproduct of anything you do that involves exercise–you wind up feeling better, and often decreasing your desire to snack on unhealthy foods. Begin as simply as by adding a ten minute period of focused activity a day, working up to thirty to forty-five minutes per day. If you tend to procrastinate, schedule your new period of activity for first thing in the morning, otherwise you will have all day to talk yourself out of doing it at all.
- Drink: Whether diet sodas do or don’t contribute to weight gain, it’s a proven fact that people who consume diet drinks do not lose as much weight as those who stick to water. While it might seem like a huge favorite to give up, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your body will acclimate to the switch, and you will start wanting water to drink. Unlike the manner most people drink all other beverages, when you drink water, by all means, chug it. Every time you pick up that glass or bottle, instead of taking a polite ladylike sip, make it a point to pull in several successive swallows. Just before and after every meal, drink a large full glass of water. You’ll eat less and when you see that you’ve eaten a reasonably-sized meal for your plan, don’t hesitate to gulp down another full glass of water. Don’t starve yourself. If your body is telling you it wants a snack, give it one, but first drink a full glass of water, then eat the snack or drink the snack. Follow with another glass of water.
- Location, Location, Location: While you can only do this at home, pick one spot for food consumption–ideally at a dining room table or kitchen table. A kitchen side bar is fine, and it can even be a special small table. Decide to forego soft, comfy chairs, the sofa and bed for eating your meals and snacks. Likewise, refuse those little seemingly calorie-free quick bites directly from the container in the fridge to your mouth.) When you eat, put everything you’ll be serving yourself together on a plate. Concentrate on all the behaved best dining protocol that would impress your mom, including your posture, napkin in lap, using the proper utensil, elbows off the table and appropriately-sized bites, well spaced apart. Concentrate on how the food in your mouth tastes, its texture and healthy ingredients.
- Ditch the Scales: What you weigh can be seriously misleading. Leave the weight-checking to the medical community. You’ll begin to actually feel when you’re losing weight. Try to keep from dwelling on your weight loss project. Avoid stealing mirror glances, memories of when you effortlessly maintained your ideal weight, and if being in the company of any particular people make you feel “big,” avoid the pleasure of their company for right now. When in the same vicinity, purposely shift your thoughts to completely innocuous subjects. One of the most powerful tools for any successful weight loss program will always be the mind. Use yours, and you will succeed.