***Disclosure: I am not a registered dietician or doctor. My suggestions and diet tips are what have worked for me. You should see a doctor or nutritionist to find out more about what could work for you!***
It seems bananas that I’m suggesting you can lose weight and love your body during the holiday season. If you’re like me this time of year can mean sheer panic. When I was at the peek of my yo-yo dieting days the holidays were my nightmare. How as I going to go to family dinners, drinks with friends, and company holiday parties where I had access to endless food and drink and stay on my diet? Well, I didn’t stay on my diet. In fact the holidays usually turned into a free for all.
After blowing my diet at a holiday party I would usually say fuck it, eat whatever I wanted through the month of December, and convince myself that after the New Year I was really going to diet. It never worked and ultimately became one of the many reasons I gave up yo-yo dieting for good and started losing weight naturally.
In my lifetime I have gained and lost over 150lbs, as you can see from the picture on my blog (The picture on the LEFT was from my college graduation in 2004 and the picture on the RIGHT was of me fall 2015) I tried every diet you can imagine…Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, Kashi Go-Lean, Atkins, and many more. Every time I would initially lose weight but eventually I would go off the diet and gain it all back plus more.
Finally I had enough. The first book that changed my life and made me realize I could lose weight naturally was Diets Don’t Work by Bob Schwartz. From there I discovered mindful eating and started seeing a mindful eating coach. After three years with this new lifestyle I have kept the weight off, I eat only when I’m hungry and stop when I’m satisfied. Now my body fluctuates between 132-137lbs.
Slowly through my mindful eating program I grew to enjoy eating and living during the holidays. Not only did I enjoy it, I continued to lose weight while eating and drinking normally at events and started learning to love my body through the process. That’s why I’m certain you can to. If you’re dreading this holiday season I understand, I’ve been there but I promise you you can lose weight naturally and love yourself just as you are. Here are my 5 tips for losing weight this holiday season and loving your body:
1) Holiday parties can help you learn your limits – The holidays are the perfect time to start discovering what your true hunger feels like. In my opinion the only way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat only when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. Check in with yourself before, during, and after the party. How is your hunger level? If you’re not that hungry when you arrive at the party have a small plate of food, glass of water, and a cocktail. Ask yourself an hour later how do I feel? Still hungry or satisfied? When you do overeat remember it’s ok but ask yourself what being extremely full feels like? It usually feels like being bloated, gassy, swollen hands, and tight pants. The goal when losing weight is to stay satisfied, not too hungry not too full.
2) Alcohol and Food Don’t Mix – This tip helped me a lot when I was first learning about my hunger range. The minute I started drinking alcohol all my hunger judgment went out the window. It was like screw it…if I’ve had a couple drinks what’s a couple pieces of pizza? If you can start by eat something first and then having a drink when you’re done eating this can help. Until you get the hang of eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re satisfied I suggest not mixing the two.
3) One plate rule – It’s easy to lose track of your eating when you’re eating finger foods. Honestly…we don’t need that much food to make us satisfied. Try filling just one standard size plate with food and eating only that. If the host has just small plates try filling two small plates including dessert and then check in with yourself. Constantly be asking yourself…am I hungry?
4) Do something kind for yourself – If you’re not yet at a place of celebrating everything that is awesome and gorgeous about your body no worries, I’ve been there. So do something kind for yourself before your holiday party. Get your make up done, get a massage, try a fun holiday themed manicure, or take a brisk 15 minute walk which will give you a natural glow. Remind yourself there is way more to life than a number on a scale.
5) There’s always more food – I use to convince myself that I needed to eat as many sugar cookies as possible around Christmas time because it would be another year before I would eat them again. It doesn’t really work that way now. You don’t have to eat all your favorite foods at once…there will always be another holiday party. Relax and enjoy the people watching and good conversation.
Remember mindful eating takes a lot of time and practice. It took me three years to get where I am today, there isn’t a 30-day quick fix. Let me know what has worked for you. Leave a comment below. Xo, Frase