Although I don’t want to discourage anyone from working to lose weight, I’d advise putting off starting a diet or any serious weight loss program until after the holidays are over. This time of year is just too chaotic and stressful for most people. For most people, just avoiding a weight gain this holiday season will be a fantastic success. This is entirely possible, without a lot of anguish and self denial, if you follow my list of Dos and Don’ts. Here they are:
Don’t try to diet, discover that you can’t keep to it, and then decide “It’s impossible. I might as well forget about weight control and enjoy everything until after the first.” Giving yourself permission to binge for a month will create a weight gain that will take all of next year to get rid of.
Do pick out six to ten days that you will go to parties, go out to dinner, have Christmas dinner, New Year’s Eve and Day get-togethers, and plan on reasonable indulgences those days. Determine to eat like a diet fanatic or a health nut all the other days. You will be able to, when you have those other days to indulge in. Don’t deny yourself gratification —delay it a bit.
Don’t try to avoid the “bad foods” at parties and dinners. You’ll only feel cheated and want to eat them later, when you’re alone. Plan on the kind of things you’ll want and find out ahead of time what kind of calories are in those things. Remember, there are no bad foods or bad calories in my world. Also remember, women usually have a “calorie budget” of 1800-2200 a day to maintain an ideal weight, and with a little advance planning, you can fit in just about anything on that.
Do save your day’s calories for the parties on your party days. If you eat a lot during the day, and then eat a lot at the parties, you’ll feel awful. If you plan ahead and have your calories at the event, they will taste better, you’ll have a great time, and you’ll feel great. And, no guilt! You’ll have had just what you loved, enjoyed it, and accomplished your health goal.
Don’t leave it up to the time you are challenged with an offer of a lunch out or a pastry, to decide what to do. Have your answer ready before you face the tempter. “No thanks, I’m saving my calories for the parties, so I don’t gain weight this year.”
Don’t beat yourself up and feel guilty when you’re not perfect. Eating too much or giving in to an urge is not a capital crime or a mortal sin. It’s just a mark of humanity. You can get better at self-control as time goes by if you give yourself a break and keep learning more. Be forgiving of your human qualities rather than critical of them.
Do decide that you care about your health, no matter what, even if your behavior isn’t always the best all the time. Never say ”I don’t care” even when you slip up. That would be a lie. You do care. Don’t lie to yourself.
Don’t decide to stay home or punish yourself by wearing clothes that are too tight all season.
Do go out and get a couple of nice outfits that are comfortable and have a wonderful happy holiday season. You can plan on holding your ground for now and beginning your serious weight loss project New Years’ Day. You can make 2012 the year you solve your weight problem.
So don’t beat yourself up this holiday season trying to stick to a diet. Just follow these tips, and don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Anderson Method to finally learn how to solve your weight problem for good in 2012!