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Food for Thought: Navigating the Holiday Season

For those of you who aren’t able to make a “Mindful Eating for the Holidays” class this year (shameless plug!), here’s a pre-Thanksgiving pep talk from your friendly neighborhood dietitian.

Here are some tips for maintaining (or even losing!) weight at this time of year:

  1. Talk it out. Meet with your dietitian (continue to honor that appointment schedule!) and discuss the week ahead. Is there a party coming up? Family coming into town? Think ahead. Help us help you, and bring your upcoming challenges to your dietitian appointments so that we can put our heads together and strategize. If you’re on a bi-weekly schedule, consider switching to weekly through the end of the year for a little extra support.
  2. Ramp up your workouts. This is a great time of year to start setting goals around exercise. If the physical benefits alone aren’t enough of a selling point, the endorphins will help increase your emotional resilience at a time of year when work is busy, in-laws are visiting, etc.
  3. Practice self-monitoring behaviors. Hop on your scale daily (and use those numbers to calibrate your food choices), log your meals (commit to logging everything!), message with your dietitian. Setting an exercise goal? Add manual entries to your meal log documenting your workouts for the week. We LOVE that.
  4. Strive for plate balance. Make half your plate non-starchy vegetables, one quarter lean protein, one quarter high-fiber starch. Not able to hit that perfectly? Do your best with the options you have, perhaps just taking protein and vegetables, skipping heavy sauces. Or better yet, bring a dish so you know you have an option available.
  5. Don’t eat out of habit. This time of year is often characterized by bigger and heavier meals than your body is used to. Have patience with your body and honor your hunger and satiety signals. Not hungry for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving? Hold off until your appetite sets in. Breakfast is just as tasty at noon!
  6. Reminder about alcohol. It’s not just empty calories. It can directly interfere with your weight loss efforts (read more here!). For those of you on Stepwise or Maintenance, set a drink limit and honor it. If you have multiple events in a week, perhaps commit to only drinking at one event, and do the “sparkling water + lime” trick at the others. 
  7. Relax and enjoy. Try not to get too caught up in holiday weight gain anxiety. Celebrate the season in a way that honors your health intentions.

Interested in more advice on navigating this time of year? We’d love to see you at one of our upcoming “Mindful Eating for the Holidays” classes. Connect with the Front Desk to get scheduled at one of our upcoming sessions.

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