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Maintaining your Weight Loss Goals through the Holidays

Face it! No one’s mind is on their diet during the Christmas holidays, when temptations like cookies, chocolate, and a variety of other goodies are everywhere. From office parties and other social events to elaborate family dinners, high-calorie foods are abundant throughout the holidays and the tendency to eat too much is ever present.

But while the temptation is to go “whole hog”, so to speak, those who’ve already lost a lot of weight needn’t throw their progress away just because it’s Christmas. And while we all have problems with self-control and temptation during the holidays, there are a few ways to remain focused on the ultimate goal while still enjoying the fruits of the Christmas season.

Don’t starve yourself – If you’re heading to a party or dinner during the holidays, be sure to eat before you go. You don’t have to necessarily consume a large meal but, instead, eat small amounts of healthy food throughout the day up until an hour or two before you leave for the party. When dieting, you should never go to a party hungry. That leads to bad food choices, the tendency to overindulge, and lots of guilty feelings the next day.

Don’t hang out at the buffet table – One of the biggest mistakes dieters make at a party is stationing themselves near the food. Remember, Christmas is about caring and sharing and parties are a good time to reconnect with loved ones or meet new people. So, instead of standing near the buffet table, find a group of people who are chatting in a different room and join them. This will eliminate the tendency to pick.

Drink water – Before going to a party or dinner, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water, which will make you feel full. Continue to drink water throughout dinner, which will prolong that full feeling and keep you from eating too much.

Volunteer to host dinner – If your family has a large Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner, make it your turn to cook. This way, you can better control what foods are served and what ingredients go into them. Don’t expect your family to be pleased if you change the menu entirely, but do try to put a low-fat spin on some traditional dishes, like using 98% fat-free soup in the green bean casserole. Introducing a few new side dishes or desserts might even result in some new family traditions!

Bring a dish – If it’s impossible for you to host the dinner, volunteer to bring along a dish or two of your choosing. Look for tasty and colorful low-fat recipes that will fool your host and the other guests. This way, you can fill up on these dishes and eat smaller portions of the higher calorie foods on the table.

Watch your portions – Most weight loss programs preach that an acceptable portion of food is no bigger than the palm of your hand. Follow that rule and you’ll have plenty of room to try all the foods on the Christmas table.

Avoid excessive alcohol – Alcoholic beverages can be a diet killer! Mixed drinks can be especially loaded with calories as can regular beer. Instead, if you must drink, opt for a small glass of wine or a light beer.

Accept occasional failure – The Christmas holidays will surely result in a few weak moments. If you make some mistakes, don’t fret and – by all means – don’t give up! When you get to the next party, follow the rules above and get back on the program!