THRIVING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS
7 Smart Success Strategies for Surviving the Season Without Gaining Weight!
By Cynthia Stamper Graff


On New Year’s Day, you will either weigh more, weigh less or weigh the same as you do today. Which will it be? The answer depends on the choices you make—and the actions you take— between now and then.

Whether your goal is to lose weight or maintain it, you can have a lean and happy holiday season! The most effective strategy for staying in control is to plan ahead. Take time to think about how you’ll handle situations that will inevitably come up at parties, at work and at home. Here are a few proven “success strategies” that are sure to come in handy during the holidays:

1. Get plenty of sleep.
Our bodies store more calories as fat when we’re sleep-deprived. To make matters worse, many of us turn to food for energy and comfort when we’re tired, consuming more calories than when we’re well-rested.

2. Resist the temptation to skip meals.
When you skip meals, you’ll be hungrier—and more likely to overeat—later in the day. Eat balanced meals and protein snacks and you’ll find it easier to stay in control. Have a healthy protein snack before going to parties so you don’t arrive hungry.

3. If you start to feel out of control, take a few deep breaths.
Go to the restroom or step outside for a few minutes and focus on relaxing. Remind yourself that you are in control of your choices and that you don’t have to overindulge to have a good time. Think about the many benefits you’ll enjoy as a result of making healthy choices.

4. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water every day.
We often think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty. Water cleanses your system, curbs appetite, and reduces fluid retention. Drinking water can also increase your energy level. The dehydration that occurs when you don’t consume enough fluid can cause you feel less energetic and become more easily fatigued.

5. Avoid or limit alcoholic beverages.
Besides being high in calories, alcohol inhibits fat burning, tends to trigger carbohydrate cravings and hunger, and can diminish your resolve to stick to your eating plan! If you do indulge, mix alcohol with diet soda, tonic, or sparkling water.

6. Avoid the temptation to have “just one bite” of foods that trigger you to overeat.
For many of us, it’s easier to avoid certain foods entirely than to try to eat them in moderation. At parties, make an effort to steer clear of the buffet and snack tables. Keep a calorie-free beverage in your hand and sip it often.

7. Get plenty of exercise.
Park far away from stores when holiday shopping rather than circling for that "good spot." Make a point of taking a brisk 10-15 minute walk every morning, afternoon, and evening. You’ll burn calories, reduce stress, and increase your energy level! Wear a pedometer and see how many steps you can log in a day!

Believe in your ability to succeed. Make a conscious choice to apply these strategies over the coming weeks and you’ll begin the New Year looking and feeling great!

Cynthia Stamper Graff is the author of Lean for Life: Phase One—Weight Loss and president and CEO of Lindora, California's number one medical weight control program. To learn more about Lindora, visit www.lindora.com or call 1-800-LINDORA.

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