Holidays are tough for many people but, if you are actively trying to lose weight, the extra stress can be a diet killer. What do successful weight loss survivors do? Here are some helpful weight loss tips from experts and coaches who’ve actually been successful losing weight themselves.
I specifically spoke with experts who understand the concept of sustained weight loss too. This is a big distinction, as permanent weight loss, defined by the medical community as weight loss sticking around over five years, is illusive to many.
Research shows permanent weight loss is more likely to result from lifestyle and attitude change. Diets just don’t do the trick for long-term change.
If you’ve tried to lose weight via conventional means, you know diet fallout all too well. Eventually, you are losing friends from your crabby mood or severe nutritional deprivation causes you to start gnawing on the kitchen floor.
So, these experts are not going to suggest you show up at the buffet table with a smaller plate than everyone else (how shaming), or that you pull out your calculator or fitbit (really?).
Let’s take a better approach this holiday season!
Weight and wellness coach Claudette Pelletier-Hannah offers this tip:
Think abundance versus scarcity. That doesn’t mean more pie. In reality, you can have turkey and pie any time. You don’t have to wait for the holidays. Therefore you don’t have to gorge yourself under the guise of “It’s the holidays!” That’s just a story we buy into. Eat what you need to be satisfied. You can eat again when you’re hungry. That’s abundant thinking. No urgency. No scarcity. No problem.
Coach Catherine L. Taylor blogs about Secrets of a Weight Loss Master and suggests:
Identify the holiday treats you truly love. What can you not live without? Identify your true favorites, then include them in moderation. For example, mine is pumpkin bread. I buy a slice at a bakery, cut it up in four pieces, and enjoy it with my coffee for four days. Because I don’t feel deprived during the holidays, I find it easy to say NO to other treats and tempting goodies.
Weight loss coach Lisa Prince says:
Focus on the people and not the food. Remember the real purpose of the holiday. Food has only gotten attached as an afterthought. The “why” of the holiday is to enjoy your family, friends, or neighbors. When in doubt, always “Move Away from the Food!”
During the fifteen years I’ve maintained a 90+ lb weight loss, I’ve stuck to a rule I used my very first holiday during weight loss:
Take frequent breaks. Family and/or large gatherings can offer too much input and distraction. When our attention leaves the food in front of us and moves to conversations, diversions, or even the inevitable family conflicts, we “go unconscious” and are not even aware of the large amount of food we are shoveling into our bodies. Once we are uncomfortable, due to the fact we are stuffed, or bothered by something outside us, we tend to eat to numb any discomfort. Or we simply “forget” to check in on hunger levels, body condition, and feelings. This “autopilot” approach to eating can mean thousands of extra calories. Take a break every 4-5 bites, put your fork down and consider your body’s feedback. Give yourself permission to eat more in a few moments, after some reflection and consideration. This gives you time to listen to other people too, and digest your emotional reactions without eating over them.
Personal trainer and coach Gena Livings has a novel idea:
Host a healthy holiday party! One simple way to ensure that you eat healthy during your holidays is to host your own healthy party. By serving only healthy food, you’ll set a good example and your guests will appreciate the lack of guilt. Even a potluck can be healthy by having guests contribute their healthiest recipes for the party. She also emphasizes leaving 20 minutes between rounds of food at any party. “After 20 minutes after eating, you may realize you’ve already had enough.”
Body image coach Laura Fenamore suggests taking a look at mental state:
Be sure you are loving yourself! We often go to parties with a lot of internal noise about appearance and what our bodies should look like, and this sabotaging voice alone can induce excess eating. Laura suggests, “Stop the judgment and love yourself by embracing and accepting that voice, but know it is only part of who you are…. We have to love and embrace every part of ourselves, instead of braving the social occasion by pretending. That’s empowering rather than disempowering.”
Put these mindful, loving tips in place this holiday season, and see your results change dramatically!
Check out Pat Barone’s Own Every Bite! virtual course to reconnect to your most precious ally in weight loss, the body.
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