Mother's Day Features
Handling Holiday Food Temptations
Do you view the upcoming holiday season with fear and trepidation? Do you break out in a cold sweat thinking about all the office parties and social gatherings you have to attend where food will be in abundance and mouthwatering desserts will be free-flowing? Do you dread the day of reckoning that will come on January 1, when the time comes to step on the scale and face the music after going through the holidays with wild abandon? If your answer is yes, I would like to welcome you to the club!
Anyone who is involved in any kind of weight-loss program knows how difficult the journey can be, even on a good day, but the holidays can make the journey look impossible and completely out of our control. I want to shine a little ray of light on the nervousness you might be feeling regarding the quickly approaching season. Below, I have listed a few of the things I have found to be helpful in ensuring ongoing success in difficult situations.
Set a Goal
Some of you are eager beavers and you want to continue losing weight, regardless of whether it is the holiday season or not. That is fantastic! Set a realistic goal for yourself and work to the best of your ability to make that happen. There are others who might say, “It isn’t that important to me if I lose during the holidays. I really just want to maintain.” If that’s you, you need to be certain that you are making the necessary choices to ensure that you are indeed maintaining and not gaining. There are still others who might say, “It seems nearly impossible for me to do anything but gain.” Be encouraged; it is not impossible! You can have success even through the holidays!
Have a Plan
I am convinced that the key to surviving any social gathering, especially the many social events that accompany the holidays, is to have a plan. If you go into every situation already knowing what you are going to do, it makes resisting temptation that much easier. However, if you go into it with a “we’ll just play it by ear” mentality, you are setting yourself up for failure. Having a plan ahead of time puts you on the offense. Any athlete knows that a game plan is essential to victory. If there is no game plan, chaos will ensue and victory will be unattainable. Decide before every party what you are and are not going to allow yourself to eat. Make the decision ahead of time whether or not you will eat dessert, whether or not you will have a plate full of carbs and whether or not you will have seconds. Set a plan and stick to it!
Serve Yourself and Step Back!
The “hover” approach to eating is NEVER a good choice. I have seen it happen over and over again, both to others and, sadly, to me. You step up to the counter or table where every square inch is covered with all manner of “eatables” and choose what you would like to eat, but you do not sit down. Instead, you hover. You stand there eating and talking to others who are hovering, and before you know it, you have consumed your plate of food and are proceeding to fill it again... and again... until you realize you have been hovering for 45 minutes and you are stuffed beyond capacity! Ladies, the answer to this dilemma is to serve yourself and STEP BACK! Find a seat in a location that is removed from the feasting table and slowly enjoy your meal. You will be far less tempted to eat more than you should if you are not in the direct vicinity of the masses of food.
These are just a few of the strategies I have found helpful. Try them out and see if they help you as well. You don’t want to dread the holidays because of what they can do to your waistline. With a little forethought and preparation, you can be sure you will enjoy them without regret!
Joanna Arciaga has spent the past fifteen years serving in various leadership capacities with women’s ministries. Her passion is to see women set free from the hurts of the past and walking in freedom and wholeness.
All articles used with permission from Beautiful One Magazine, LLC, 2007.