Well, here we are again! The leaves are turning crimson and gold and the cold winds are blowing. Suddenly I want everything pumpkin spice! And things like stew and hearty bread...meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I could go on. And we are not even into the holidays yet!
If you are working on losing weight or eating healthier in general, this time of year you may be tempted to throw your hands in the air and tell yourself "Oh well, there's always New Years Resolutions".
Don't do it! I am here to talk some sense into you before you let things get out of control. There is no reason you can't make it through the holidays not only keeping weight gain at bay but even losing some weight and feeling great by the time January rolls around. It just takes a certain strategy and a willingness to plan.
Start by listing all of those meals, desserts, and foods in general that you are craving and tempted to overdo it on. Then one by one, come up with an alternative. Look for a lightened up version of your favorite. I regularly make a meatloaf and mashed potato dinner for my family that is lightened up enough to stay in my calorie limits. I simply played with my favorite recipe substituting and changing ratios until I created a tasty meal. Now I know exactly how to make it quickly and easily and exactly how much of it I can eat. My family loves it, doesn't notice the difference, and I get to enjoy favorites with my family while still losing weight.
You may be catching yourself saying in your head " Yuck. I don't want an alternative, I just want the real thing!" That would be a major clue on how to approach the season. There is no reason to torture yourself. If you want the real thing, then go look up the calories and plan for it. It really is that simple. You may think that you can't eat just one, but that isn't true for a lot of us that seem to exhibit that behavior. Most of the time when you are overeating, you have given yourself permission for some reason. You tell yourself "oh well, I already blew it so why does it matter". Well, what if you were not "blowing" it at all? What if you just saved up some calories for a sugar cookie? Then you can't really give yourself permission to go crazy because you blew it...cause you didn't!
So much of the struggle with eating is in our heads. If you learn to eat in moderation and not go so strict on yourself, you will find that a lot of that anxiety and urge to overeat will subside. I'm not saying that you won't be tempted to eat 6 sugar cookies. I'm saying plan for one, buy a single serving at the coffee shop, and enjoy it. Don't bake a batch and stare at them. You will have to learn discipline, but you don't need to be extreme and perfect. You just need to do better and do it consistently to see the scale start to move. You will get stronger over time, little by little.
You are worth the effort to set yourself up for success this season. It IS doable my friends!
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