It's holiday season! Do you worry about all the food and parties and events and how will you ever keep up your weight loss? Or just keep from gaining weight?
Listen in to 6 tips I've been using with my clients for several years to keep your health and weight loss goals from moving to the back burner the next few months.
Don't forget to SHARE this episode with a friend! Tag me and I'll send a little something special your way!
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Welcome to Eat Well, Think Well, Live Well; the podcast for women who want to lose weight, but are tired of counting and calculating all the food. I'm your host, Lisa Salsbury. I'm a certified health and weight loss coach and life coach, and most importantly a recovered chronic dieter. I'll teach you to figure out why you are eating when you aren't hungry, instead of worrying so much about what you are eating. It is officially the holiday season. I hope everyone had a great Halloween. We certainly did. My youngest daughter is a freshman this year. And I feel like it probably is the last time that she will be trick or treating with friends, her and her two friends decided to be pirates and they were so adorable. I made her skirt, which is kind of one of my things. I have boxes and boxes of. Halloween costumes that I've made for the kids over the years from super long wizard capes Two adorable little girly costumes, but this year my daughter wanted to be a. pirate, but acute pirate. So We got some maroon satin and matching lace. And I made her like a handkerchief type skirt where each panel was different. She said it looked like she stole the dress from a Victorian lady and cut it up Made it her own. So that was what we were going for. And it turned out super cute. But one of my favorite things that happened on Halloween was. My older daughter, she just had friends over here to eat spaghetti, which is our traditional Halloween meal and, um, watch movies. So she was home and she actually happened to answer the door Some middle school boys came to our door and she opened the door and they didn't say trick or treat or anything. The first kid just looks at her and goes. Can I use your bathroom? She was like, are you serious? Like she was pretty sure it was some sort of joke. And he's like, no, I really, really need to use the bathroom. And she's like, well, are you going to go. And he's like, yes. And so she goes, mom. So I come to the door and we go through the whole thing again, and I'm like, sure. Come on in. So the kid dressed as an average, Joe and his friend who was wearing a banana costume. They come in and they use our bathroom and they were hilarious and grateful. And I just thought it was so fun that they were like, this looks like a nice house. These look like nice people. We're going to ask them because we're dying. So anyway, that's how our Halloween went. And now We're just counting down the days, right. Until some of the other holidays. Last week I sent an email. With all of the days until. Like it's four days until Halloween 28 days until Thanksgiving, et cetera. But of course now update, let's see if we're calculating from the release day of this podcast, it would be. let's see, 22 days until Thanksgiving. 53 days until Christmas 59 days until new years. Don't you love those things. These countdowns. Or does it make you super nervous? Before I gave up fad dieting, I would get to this time of year. And I think, well, I guess we'll just try again next year. I would usually just stop quote unquote, trying our quote, worrying about it and proceed to put on weight. Then January would roll around and I would go one of two ways either. I was sad. Christmas was over and January is typically not a great month for me. I never could do the new year's resolutions things because I always felt like we were still on vacation. school. Wouldn't get going again for another week. So I never started anything January 1st. And then I figured it was too late. A few weeks later. This inevitably led me to just continue to eat my feelings all the way through March. When I would finally determine I had to figure out something better. And that's something better was generally another gimmicky diet. So that was the old me. And maybe that sounds a little bit like you, maybe just a few parts in pieces here and there. But this year, I'm going to give you six things that you can do. To handle the holidays this year without either throwing your hands in the air and giving up on yourself or without also being super restrictive and not enjoying the holidays because you're too worried about weight gain. Okay. We don't want either one of those. I think what is pretty crazy though, is that we've been told for years that typically people gain about five pounds during the holiday season. But actually a study in the new England journal of I found that it's actually more like one pound. What's weird is that when I thought everyone was gaining five pounds, I figured I could. And maybe even should as well. I think it sort of gave me permission. But today, I want to give you permission to enjoy the holidays. And to maintain your weight where you want If that means maintain at exactly the same as you currently are. That's great. If that means maintain the momentum you currently have. If you're in a loss phase, let's do that too. The holidays seems to have become a full quarter of the year that we are just not paying attention to our health. It doesn't have to be like that. And it doesn't have to be difficult either. Okay. So here are six strategies that I have been using with my clients since the very first year that I started coaching. Number one. Is get honest about your calendar. This I think is the biggest myth I see playing out at this time of year. We're just so busy and there are so many parties. That's what you tell Here's what I want you to do. Go through your calendar over the last three months. Since it is November 1st. If you feel like the holidays end for you really on January 1st, you could just do two months since we're comparing it to the two months of November and December. So go over your calendar for that length of time. Notice how many birthday parties. Baby showers, sports end of season parties, big Sunday family dinners that you had. How many times did you go out to lunch with friends? Date night at a restaurant with your spouse. All of those types of things. How many times were you at an event with a snack bar? The kind where candy and treats are like a dollar. When I first did this a few years back when I was coming up with these strategies. I came up with 27. 27 times. I was eating away from the house at some sort of event that is actually way more than I thought it would be. This year, it's much less with fewer kids that live at home. I don't have as many of those events that I go to because of that. And of course, the last couple of years with COVID restrictions, those numbers may have been lower, but I anticipate this year, we are at full capacity on most of our events. So now I want you to take a look at your holiday party schedule. Is it more than the events you just counted I know my husband's Christmas work party will likely take the place of a date night. And let's be honest. We're not very consistent there, but. Anyway, even if we only had one date night in the last couple of months, that would equal, that would equal out there no extra night. I have a Christmas party for my church ladies a gathering just like we have every month, except this month. It's Christmas themed. So again, no extra night out there. I might plan a girls' night with friends that I normally see for lunch. My kids tend to play fall sports, but not winter. So those events are eliminated for me, but maybe for you, it's just an equal there you have the same amount of sports In the fall as you do in the winter. But what I want you to see is how, when you get really honest with how many additional events you have beyond your usual schedule, You aren't coming up with as many as you may have thought. Yes. There are fun events around the holidays, but I just want you to know the actual number of times that is going to happen. Another way we can get really honest about your calendar is to break it down by how many events you have in a week. Let's say it's a lunch party at work during the week, and then a Friday night holiday party and a Sunday night family dinner. That? Well, that would be a lot. I mean, what I would describe as a lot of get togethers for one week, that might not be a lot for you, but let's say you're eating three meals a day for those seven days. And we just calculated that's three out of those 21 meals that you're not eating as usual. So that's 85% of the time that you are eating as usual. That is actually a lot of the time. Even if you over ate at one or two of those events that still puts. You over 90% on plan. So deciding that you can't lose or maintain your weight. During the holidays because you have too many events is just not true. I have been using these strategies, like I said, with my clients for several And no one comes up with a dramatic increase on their number of events. Typically it will be a slight increase or just, just some different types of events that they need some strategies for. But we just want to be clear. That it's not because you have holiday parties every single day. It's just that it's the easy thought to delay the time to start working on your health goals because your brain prefers this because it does not like change. Even if you're like, oh, I don't have a problem with change. Like I could move every day. Your brain actually prefer status quo. Your brain prefers homeostasis. So your brain will offer you all kinds of reasons and being too busy. Is a favorite one. Number two is to make sleep a priority. Now another lie I used to tell myself is that I had to stay up late to get everything done during the holidays. You know, if you listen to my episode with Janet Whalen the sleep coach on how essential sleep is to your weight loss efforts. Inadequate sleep less than seven or eight hours per night. Decreases concentrations of the hormone, leptin and increases levels of the hormone ghrelin. This is an unfortunate case of double jeopardy. Leptin signals S sense of feeling full and grelin tells our body it's time to eat. So a decrease in leptin says to our body, I'm not satisfied. And an increase in gremlins as I'm really hungry. So you end up not feeling satisfied by the same amount of food that would normally satisfy you on a well rested day. Which there is the effect of low leptin. You also end up with stronger cravings and a surprising desire to eat more often. There's the effect of high ghrelin. So the other effect, Janet reminded us of. In that episode. And I will link to that episode in the show notes is the decrease in emotional resilience when we aren't well rested. our ability to stick to our goals and not go to food for emotional buffering. Is decreased. The holidays can be stressful as we all know. So getting sufficient sleep during this time. Is not only helpful to balancing our hunger hormones, but also to maintain our emotional resilience. So I would encourage you more than any other time of the year. Commit to a bedtime during the holidays. Based on your required wake-up time and stick Primarily, we are not getting enough sleep as a nation due to just not putting ourselves to bed We stay up late watching TV, scrolling, social media, or reading. Except in the case of clinical insomnia or frankly newborns, most Americans can get more sleep if they simply value it more by going to bed at the right time. If you are having trouble sleeping again, I would recommend you listen to that episode six with Janet. But primarily, I just want you to think about at this time of year. To really make it a priority. Number three. Don't operate from scarcity. This is a trick, the food manufacturers and restaurants just love. And unfortunately we have started to believe them and internalizing these thoughts. You can only get it now. Limited time. Okay. Is it true that Starbucks only does the pumpkin spice latte this time of year? Yes. Could you actually make it the other nine months of the year, if you wanted to also yes. But we do that with holiday foods that we make on our own or the others make at home as well. You might think, like I only get fudge at Christmas time. That's true for me because I only choose to make it for friends and family at Christmas time. But the truth is instead of making a lemon cake around Easter, I could just make fudge. The ingredients are available year round. The ingredients for mine are chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated, milk, butter, and vanilla. It's the All regular grocery store ingredients that are available. Year round. There is actually no shortage of fudge you can totally make it any time. Or if you don't make it, you can buy it anytime at Godiva's or seas in the mall year round. You can also go to one of those fudge counters at like Scheels, or. I mean. There are several stores that have those fudge counters. It's simply not true that these foods are in short supply. I think we could do this example with several holiday foods. When we are thinking things about food, like I only get it at this time of year. We get feelings of scarcity. And when we are operating from scarcity. It makes us think we should definitely eat it now or there won't be any left. Remind your brain that you can totally eat the fudge tomorrow. When you have put it on your plan. Or if you're not creating plans. You can also remind yourself that there's plenty and there's no need to overeat it today. The other thing here is to be really honest about what you want. Like I said about my fudge, the ingredients are available year round. We could actually make pumpkin pie for the 4th of July, but we don't really want it then. So say yes to the pumpkin pie because you actually want it now. Not because you don't get it. At other times of the year. Enjoy those holiday foods, because they are meaningful to you at this time of year, whether that's because you enjoy making them for others or they remind you of a grandmother that's passed, but just don't let your brain lie to you. That it's scarce. It's fine for food to conjure up memories or to be special to you. But that doesn't equate to it being scarce. Makes sense. All right. Tip number four is all about buffets. This also could be like family dinner, parties, potlucks, those kinds of things. Many holiday parties and gatherings have these buffet type opportunities, whether it's an appetizer, buffet, dessert buffet, or a whole meal. The holidays tend to bring out the variety of foods like nothing else. And you want to try it all. here's a few tips for navigating those buffets first, make sure you can still see your plate. When you dish up your plate at home for dinner, it's likely you can still see what color your plate is in between your You have your chicken separated from your rice and salad, or maybe it's all in a stack in the middle, but you have plenty of room on the edges. But at a buffet, suddenly you are piling food on top of food and feeling like you have to try it This is again, coming from a place of scarcity. Remember tip three. But what, if you dished up your plate in the same portions you would, if you were having dinner at home where you can still see what color your plate is in between the food. Make sure there are spaces between your food choices. With this little tip, you will likely not get too much on your plate. It's something I've honestly used multiple times at parties and it works great. Second quit the clean plate club. Seriously, there is no prize there. If you find yourself at an event where you want to try it all, do But also just try it all, try it. You don't have to eat the entire thing. You want to try all five desserts? Absolutely. Do it. Just have two bites of each and leave the rest. You want to try the potatoes and the stuffing for sure. That's fine. Just eat half of each one. Don't let there be drama about needing to finish. You're an adult and you can totally leave food on your plate if you want. Buffets tend to lead to a lot of might as well. Eating. That's when you already ate this. So you might as well eat Or you go into it thinking I won't be able to not eat all of the things. So I might as well, not even try. It doesn't have to be that way. Buffets are usually associated with parties and therefore you want to be comfortable at these kinds of social events, I certainly don't want to be worrying about how full my stomach feels or how we need to find a bathroom while I'm already worrying about making small talk. Give yourself the kindness of being comfortable in your body. So it doesn't inhibit what you want to do at the party. Which leads right into tip number five. And that is, remember it's about the people. Have you ever gotten so worried about blowing your diet quote, unquote, that you forgot to enjoy yourself? Have you ever had so much anxiety not knowing what exactly was in the sweet potatoes that you didn't even bother to thank your aunt for making them. Have you ever worried ahead of visiting your grandma sure she will offer you food, not on your protocol that you end up, not even excited to see her. Remember the most important aspect of the holidays. It's the people. It's the family and friends you are with, you could literally eat steamed vegetables and drink water. If you actually wanted to and still enjoy the people. You do not have to eat everything on the buffet and say yes to every dessert or drink all the punch to enjoy the conversation, the company and the connection. You can choose to eat whatever you want at the party. And still be the life of it. You bring the fun. My kids sorta hate it. When I say that. But really the food doesn't bring the fun you and your thoughts about how the event is going is what is fun Focus on the people this year and see how fun it can be. Even with your regular amount of food on your plate. Even if you don't have extra dessert at every party, this season, Enjoy every bite and think those that made it, especially if it was you! Ah, one agendum also on the, making it about the people is to consider some traditions this year that maybe don't have anything to do with food. I know during the holidays, a lot of our traditions or the things that we love to do with our friends and family. Can revolve around the food that is eaten, which is totally great. And not a problem. But I would encourage you to think of a few things that might be fun for you to start doing that actually don't have anything to do with food. Okay. My last tip is to get some help. Whether that's from me as a coach, or maybe you team up with a friend for some accountability. I get that it might seem like an impossible task to lose weight during the holidays. And if you're brain assured that this is impossible and that you should just put it Again, Don't believe that nonsense. Don't wait for January 1st or if you're anything like me March 1st. Start now to take control of your health. You don't need a Monday or the first of the month. Our first day of the year. There's nothing special about those times. You can make changes. You've been wanting to right now. On a Wednesday or Thursday, or whenever you're listening to this. There is no quote diet that can help you address the root cause of why you are eating when you aren't physically hungry. If you feel like sometimes you are just eating because everyone else says. Or you finish something and think that wasn't even good. Why did I eat all of that? Or you plan to have one cookie and you'll end up having seven. There are solutions for this, and I can help you. I can help you end the obsession with fad dieting. While at the same time. Getting you to your natural goal weight. I can help you end the constant feeling of hunger, cravings, and urges having a professional to be accountable to is nothing like you've ever tried. So I really would encourage you, especially this time of year to book a free strategy session with me. And you'll see how coaching can really be the difference for you and finally losing weight for good. This is also the perfect episode for you to share with a friend since the holidays basically affect everyone. And If you share this on social media and tag me in it, I will definitely send a little gift card your way just to say, thanks. hey, thanks for listening today. If you're ready to get some personalized coaching from me, I'd encourage you to schedule a free strategy session. Visit www.wellwithlisa.as.me or it's easier just to find that link in the show notes. We'll talk about where you currently are with your weight loss goals. And I'll give you some actionable tools. You can start implementing right away. Before you go, make sure you subscribe to the podcast so you can receive new episodes, right when they're released. And if you're learning something new and enjoying the podcast, I'd love for you to leave me a five star rating and a review. Thanks again for joining me, Lisa Salisbury in this episode of Eat Well, Think Well, Live Well.