Avoiding Holiday Season Weight Gain
Whilst the Easter holiday season draws nearer, so too does the temptation of binging on the ever-growing selection of chocolate covered delights. Let’s face it, it’s virtually impossible to avoid the onslaught of chocolate-pushing relatives without offending one of them.
We’re sure you’ve heard a million different tips to stay healthy during the holiday season. The hardest part often isn’t combating massive amounts of food made available to you, but rather withstanding the peer pressure of friends and family who mean well, but don’t realise the effect they’re having on your progress. In today’s post we’re going to look at the psychology behind holiday season binging, and how to best avoid it.
Why people pressure you
On the surface it may seem like your family members are trying to sabotage your weight loss goals, but the reason they do this is much different – food is love. And this is made fairly evident the world over. Food is a source of affection – how many times has a family member made something specifically for you because you like it? Food promotes a need for social gathering, and family coming-together.
How do you say no?
Whilst it may be the holiday season, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doomed to consume unhealthy food. So how do you avoid as much confrontation as possible across the dinner table?
- Eat slower – Rather than scoffing down lasagne and BBQ smothered spare ribs, take your time and allow your body to decide when it is full.
- Blend in – Go for seconds and thirds, however, reduce the amount you place on your plate each time. Try only taking certain types of food at one time.
- Don’t draw attention – It’s perfectly fine to be on a healthy diet, but don’t draw unnecessary attention. Bringing up that you’re eating differently can attract the wrong kind of attention, particularly if people assume you are talking down to them for not choosing to eat so health-consciously.
- Don’t complain – If you choose to eat healthy, that’s great – but it’s your choice. Complaining about not being able to eat particular things will only draw more attention and peer pressure to eat something unhealthy. Remember, letting loose for one day and eating as you please won’t revoke all your hard work and progress. If you are going to complain and be unhappy, consider eating as you please and getting back on track thereafter.
Scenarios and responses
Whilst the above information is handy, it doesn’t provide exact insight into avoiding the temptation to overeat during the holiday season. Let’s look at some common peer scenarios and how you can respond in order to maintain your healthy eating diet.
- “Just one won’t kill you! Come on, it’s the holidays!”
– Try diverting conversation by changing topic, “I know it won’t! How well did Essendon play on the weekend?”
– Explain that you’re aware of their point, however you’re just not in the mood at the current time
- “But they are your favourite! I made them especially for you!”
– Be calm, cool and collected, you aren’t obliged to eat anything, just express your utmost gratitude for the gesture and an intention to eat some later
- “You’re already fat!”
– Let your peer know that you would really appreciate their support on your weight loss journey
– Explain that the situation will not change unless you decide to actually make a change
- “But you work out so much!”
– Explain how 80% of achieving your weight loss goals are diet related, if they don’t lose interest immediately, they’ll at least understand things from your perspective
– Tell them that eating poorly today will undo the work you’ve just put in
- “Are you on a diet?”
– Explain that you’re just trying to eat healthier and make wiser decisions when it comes to what you consume
In closing, I want to make an adamant point that you shouldn’t freak out during the holiday season if you decide to take a few days off and eat as you please. As long as you don’t reestablish poor eating habits as a result, it’s perfectly fine to take a couple of days off to enjoy yourself in the company of family and friends.
What other tips and tactics are you going to use to help survive the upcoming Easter holiday season?