Tag Archives: losing weight during the holidays

mindful eating

Mindful Eating: How to Stay on Track During the Holidays

One the most common questions we get is how to stay on track during the holidays. Easter is right around the corner and a lot of you are worried that you’re going to fall off the weight loss wagon. Whether it’s the strong temptation of the food that’s offered or peer pressure from other attendees who aren’t as supportive of your lifestyle as you’d like, we get it. So we wanted to arm you with some mindful eating tips to get through this holiday or any holiday or event that you have coming up.

1. Forget about Cleaning Your Plate

From a young age, we’re taught to clear everything off of our plates. We may have been told not to waste food, or that there are starving children in other parts of the world that would love a hot meal. While the sentiment behind these statements is supposed to be a positive one, they can backfire. We carry these ideas into adulthood and have a tendency to eat every bite of food on our plates, even if we’re full halfway through our meal. We’re not encouraging you to waste food, but instead of over-stuffing yourself, take leftovers home. If you can’t take leftovers with you, it’s okay to leave some food on your plate. Listen to your body and the signals that tell you you’re full – and honor those signals.

2. Opt for Smaller Plates

It may be a trick of the mind, but smaller plates can help with portion control. When we’re holding a plate, we tend to fill it, especially in a buffet-style situation. A large plate means more food than a smaller plate. When you’re at a dinner party or a restaurant where you’re filling your own plate, opt for a salad or appetizer plate. You can go back for seconds if you’re still hungry, but give yourself some time to allow your food to settle.

3. Put Utensils Down Between Bites

Today’s modern world is “go, go, go”. We tend to rush through our entire day – and eating is no different. Next time you sit down for a meal, take a breath and slow down. Put your fork down between bites and chew slowly. Be mindful of what you’re eating.

4. Pay Attention

When was the last time you paid attention to the texture of the food you were eating? The crunch of almonds in your mouth, the creaminess of your salad dressing, and the coolness of a bite of avocado often go unnoticed when you’re rushing through your meal to get to the next moment. Make it a point to pay attention, not just to the flavor of your food, but to the whole experience. Eating a meal is supposed to be pleasurable. Take it all in.

 5. Sit Down

In the holiday setting, especially at holiday parties and work events, there is a tendency to stand around with appetizer plates, or to grab an hors d’oeuvres as a server walks by, and quickly eat it while you continue on with your conversation. Instead, try to make it a point to put a small plate together and sit down while you eat. This forces you to pay more attention and slow down. If you want to keep your hands busy while you’re walking around mingling, ask for a soda water with a splash of fresh cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime and sip it slowly.

Quick Tips to Stick To Your Exercise Routine through the Holidays

The holidays are a busy time – you’re shopping, you’re traveling, you’re going to parties, you’re hosting parties, and you have family and friends visiting from out of town. It’s really easy – and tempting – to say “you know what, I’m just too busy to exercise during the holidays, I’ll get back on track after the New Year”, but resist the urge!

Nixing your workout routine is a quick way to pack on the pounds, especially because you’re likely to overindulge in the food department over the next few weeks. Another problem is that if you let yourself fall out of your routine, it’s so much harder to get back into it once the New Year arrives. Instead of foregoing exercise completely, adjust your routine so that it fits into your holiday schedule. In addition to minimizing the potential for holiday weight gain, regular exercise can also reduce your stress levels so that you’re able to tackle your to-do list with greater ease.

Tip #1: Plan ahead

Schedule your workouts like you would any other commitment and treat them as such. You wouldn’t blow off lunch with your best friend at the last minute, would you? So don’t blow yourself off. Literally, write your workouts down on your calendar or put reminders in your phone and stick to it. You may have to juggle some things around or wake up earlier to find the time to exercise, but it will be worth it.

Tip #2: Mix it up

During the holidays you may not be able to hit your local gym 6 days a week like you usually do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work out at all. Use what you’ve got and workout whenever and wherever you can. If you’re traveling, go for a walk or hit the local gym and see if you can score a free week pass. If you have houseguests, ask them if they want to go for a hike or a bike ride to see the town.

Tip #3: Combine your commitments

On the days you have prior commitments, turn those commitments into exercise. If you’re getting together with your siblings, nieces and nephews, turn it into an adventure. Go hiking or sledding or swimming at an indoor pool instead of going out to lunch or sitting around the house. If you turn family time into an activity, you can kill two birds with one stone.

Tip #4: Adjust your expectations.

You may not be able to get in hour-long workouts every day during the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work out at all. Many people take an all-or-nothing approach to exercise, and that’s counterproductive. Just because you can’t fit in an hour of exercise doesn’t mean you can’t work out at all. Do circuit exercises – which combine cardio exercise with strength training – for 20 minutes. You’ll scorch more calories in less time, getting more bang for your buck.

Tip #5: Partner up

It’ll be easier to quit your routine if you feel like you’re the only person in the world staying on track during the holidays. Instead of going it alone, make a pact with a friend or family member to hold each other accountable. You can schedule workouts together or just make it a point to check in with each other every day – or a few times a week – to make sure that you’re sticking to your routine. When you’re accountable to someone else, you’re less likely to veer off track.