Last holiday season, Carla Meine shared her holiday weight loss story and we decided we would re-post it since it contains effective strategies for handling holiday party weight gain challenges. Enjoy!
Last year, I was very excited to find that I had been successful with my goal of not gaining a single pound that holiday season! My typical weight gain during this time of year (from Thanksgiving to Christmas) is about 7-10 pounds. This means that I’m right in line with the average American and I’ve been gaining this inhaled holiday heft for over 30 years. When New Years rolls around, I once again have to make my resolution to work for months just to get rid of it.
I realized it was time for a change. I was determined to still enjoy the holidays, but I wasn’t going to overeat and put on any pounds. I had two Thanksgiving dinners (one here in Utah and one later in Washington), as well as taking two separate trips where I ate out more than I normally do. On top of these meals, I enjoyed lots of the treats my neighbors brought by and made excursions to several holiday parties where I let myself indulge.
Now some of you might be wondering about the secret to my success. How is it possible for me to do all that and still not gain any weight? Well first I got my body and my brain on the same page. It was time to make a plan. I knew about my holiday parties, excursions, and traveling schedule well in advance and while I had less control of these dates, I still had complete control of the time in-between. I knew that I needed to supplement these high-calorie forays with lower calorie, high protein meals and snacks. I would save up a fair share of my “empty calories” by supplementing other meals with weight loss shakes and healthy snacks. Whenever I got to someone’s party I would make a healthy run down the food table. I would fill my plate with any of the tasty, healthy items that I enjoy (salads, meats, fruits, veggies, etc…) and with whatever room was left on the plate, I would take small portions of the unhealthy stuff (chips, dips, cakes, cookies—you get the idea). Often times there was a pot-luck, and I was even able to end up bringing one of my high protein desserts to the party. I made sure that I tried everything I wanted, but I limited the portion sizes.
Also, when we were traveling, I made a point to load the car with fruit and nuts so that they were handy to snack on. This way when we stopped for gas I wouldn’t be as tempted to buy the junk. I also limited my intake of sodas and other sugary drinks. I’ve been really good lately, but the holidays are usually a time when I let loose and drink way too much Diet Coke. In the end, I still had a wonderful holiday season with great food and great friends and I don’t feel at all like I missed out on anything.
I’m so grateful for the work we have done with the motivational brain training and the meal replacement shakes. With these two weapons I was able to achieve a major goal I’ve been battling since my college days. It’s so encouraging to start 2011 and have one less fitness goal to manage.
We hope you enjoyed Carla’s words of wisdom. Don’t throw away all the progress you’ve made so far this year and just put everything off until the new year!
By Randy Gustman