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Weight Control Tips for the Holidays

Staying accountable to your fitness and nutrition goals is always a challenge, but it becomes even more so during the holiday season. When sugary sweets and carb-laden comfort foods seem virtually inescapable, many people’s resolve wavers, causing unwelcome holiday weight gain. Instead of starting the new year burdened by bulges and regretting all your indulgences, why not try to lose weight this holiday season with these tips?

Skip the Alcohol

Many holiday gatherings revolve around alcoholic beverages, which are a must to avoid if you are hoping to stay on track with your weight loss goals. Beer, wine, and mixers like soda are all high in empty calories. Plus, after a drink or two, your impaired judgment will cause you to make unhealthy choices like overeating or snacking. Avoid the guilt by bringing a non-alcoholic, calorie-free beverage like club soda, and always have a cup in your hand, so nobody will offer to get you a different drink.

Stick With Your Routine

The holiday season has no shortage of events that can throw off your schedule. When you’re dashing from your child’s school play to a volunteer assignment with some work colleagues, you don’t have time to fit in your usual daily workout. Though you may be the kind of person who tends to overcommit, remember how hard you’ve worked to achieve your fitness goals and how quickly you can lose progress – and motivation – if you let yourself fall off track. If your calendar gets overloaded and you end up having to skip a workout, try to make up for it by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from your destination, or taking breaks for brief bursts of exercise during the day.

Focus on Portion Sizes

Many lists of holiday weight loss tips focus on food restriction, but denying yourself specific dishes might only make you crave them more. After all, food is a favorite holiday tradition for a reason. Instead of avoiding your favorite recipes, take smaller portions and make yourself eat slowly and mindfully, savoring each bite. To ensure you don’t overeat, have a fiber-filled snack like an apple, or drink a full glass of water before your holiday get-together.

Set SMART Goals

Many people unknowingly set themselves up to fail before even getting their weight control ambitions off the ground. In these cases, the intention is there, but the goals themselves have flaws like being unrealistic or overly vague. When creating new objectives for yourself, use the acronym SMART to guide your process. The most effective goals have all five of the following qualities.

  • S: Specific
  • M: Measurable
  • A: Achievable
  • R: Realistic
  • T: Time-bound

For example: “From December 15th-January 15th, I will maintain my weight while still going to four parties, having 13 people over for Christmas dinner, and going out for New Years Eve by continuing my workout routine 3 times a week, not drinking alcohol except for champagne on New Years Eve, and limiting portion sizes.”

Personalized, Patient-Focused Care

Being at or close to your target body weight is a prerequisite for many surgeries Dr. Desman performs, including liposuction, mommy makeovers, tummy tucks, and post-weight loss contouring. Use these tips to stay on track with your weight loss during the holidays, then schedule your private consultation at the Virginia Center for Plastic Surgery to determine your candidacy for the procedure you are dreaming of.