When you tell yourself that the holiday season will be hard, chances are it's going to be. The way you talk to yourself can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you expect to give in to the temptation of all those homemade baked goods, you will. If you're sure it's not an option to turn down your mother's offer of seconds, it won't be.
But if you want to start the New Year without feeling like you're starting over, you can. The first thing you need is a positive attitude.
The second thing you need? A plan. People who stay within sight of their weight-loss goals — in one way or another — are the people who eventually attain their goals. Figuring out what's different and more difficult about losing weight during the holidays helps you strategize how to work through it.
It can be done, and we'll help you do it. Keep reading to develop your plan for getting through the season.
Put things into perspective
Take out a calendar and circle the days you think might present extraordinary challenges, and you'll see that there are a lot more opportunities to be on track than there are obstacles. With that in mind, it will feel more reasonable to expect success.
Identify your expectations
Ask yourself what you want to achieve. Would you like to continue to lose weight? Would you be happy to maintain? Or were you expecting to take a break and start things up again in January? If you know what you're aiming for, you'll be better able to set a clear path.
Say goodbye to guilt
If you're ready to maintain, or even prepared to accept the fact that you may gain a little, don't feel guilty. Instead, take control. There is nothing wrong with taking a break, but decide how long you want the break to be. If you outline your limits, you won't feel like you're starting over in January. You'll feel like you're picking back up where you left off.
Don't avoid the scale
Stay aware of your stats, and you'll be able to make adjustments so you meet your goals.
Ask for help
You're not the only one heading toward the holidays with weight loss in mind. Look for people with similar goals and ask them about their strategies.