December 14, 2012

Dieting during the Holidays

How to Maintain Your Weight Throughout the Holidays


For years I couldn’t figure out why people wait until January 1st to go and get a gym membership. Why not just get started on your weight-loss goals when the idea first strikes you? Well, because most of us think about losing weight around the time the holidays roll around because we start thinking about how much food we’ll be consuming at all those holiday gatherings. And, it’s easier to say, “I’ll just work it off after the holidays and losing weight can just be my New Year’s Resolution.”


I never used to worry about my weight during the holidays and enjoyed all the holiday goodies I wanted. However, once I became a mom that stopped. I had baby weight I had to get off, but I didn’t want to miss out on all the holiday treats so for three years I said, “I’ll start dieting on January 1st and by this time next year I’ll be back to my pre-pregnancy weight.” Yes, you read that right…for three years I did that before I really started losing weight.

It wasn’t the fact that I finally got serious about fitting into that little black dress or that I received a wake-up call from my doctor that caused me to start losing weight. It was actually the fact that my husband got a new job that required him to be away from home for up to two weeks at a time that sparked it. Again, I didn’t try to diet…I was just depressed about my husband being gone for so long. When I get depressed, I don’t eat much so the weight started to “fall” off. Then, when my husband was able to find a job closer to home, I made the decision to continue losing weight.

Naturally, this happened a few months before the holidays, but I was determined to keep losing weight. All I was doing was counting calories. I did The Biggest Loser method of taking my weight and multiplying it by seven (7) and that was the amount of calories I was allowed to eat. That’s it…no exercise. I actually lost about 35 pounds doing that. However, after losing all that weight, my husband and I got pregnant last November so last year, the holidays were again fun. I was pregnant, so that gave me a free pass, right?

Anyways, so here I am dieting again during the holidays. Only this time, I’m doing it the right way and including exercise into my regiment. I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but the challenge is to maintain my weight during the next month after all the holiday parties are over. Are you in a similar situation? Well, here’s a few tips for how to maintain your weight, and not bust your diet, during the holidays.

1.Don’t skip the gym. This is a big one for me. It’s so easy to skip going to the gym due to all of the holiday activities. However, going to the gym actually keeps my body’s metabolism up and burns calories, which means it won’t be detrimental if I eat more than usual at a holiday party.

2.Keep track of what you eat. It sounds a little extreme, but find a way to keep track of everything you eat (and drink) each day…even on the days of the parties. Studies have proven that we tend to eat less when we keep a diary of what we’re eating each day. The My Fitness Pal app for iPhone and Android is a great way to do this.

3.Give yourself a cheat day. Finally, give yourself a cheat day where you allow yourself to eat 500 or so more calories than usual. If you know you have a holiday party coming up, work really hard seven to ten days before the party to stay under your calorie goal and then make your cheat day the day of the party. And, don’t feel bad! Giving yourself a cheat day each week actually keeps your metabolism going!

As you try to lose weight, you should be learning how to change your lifestyle so once you reach your goal weight, you can maintain it. In order to do this, you have to learn how to manage your weight during the holidays when all of those fattening foods are around. It’s okay to indulge when it’s done in moderation.