Sometimes Thanksgiving and Christmas are a little too close for me. Especially with New Years Eve being right after.
I walk into Thanksgiving, party through my birthday (Christmas season baby in the house!), enjoy Christmas, and then roll my stuffed behind out of New Years Eve.
People say it’s the renewal of the first of the year that inspire people to make weight loss resolutions.
I think it’s the super stuffed feeling and “shocking” weight gain we become aware of when we finally step on the scale after spending months turning a blind eye.
By New Years Eve, I’m so full, stuffed, and bloated I don’t want to do anything else but be on a diet.
This year I’m going to do what I can to keep myself in check.
Below, I lay out what I have been experimenting with to stay more on track this year and manage my routine to avoid weight gain but still enjoy the festivities.
Stick to your meal planning and meal prep schedule
The week of Thanksgiving, for some “weird” reason, is when I used to drop off my routine.
Instead of sticking to my diet, I’d rely on office parties and treats, family parties, and leftovers to feed me for the last month of the year.
This year, I’m following my routine as much as possible. It’s been a busy season for me so I’ve actually been missing meals here and there.
Treating the season like business as usual has been meal planning and prepping, grocery shopping weekly despite my busier schedule, and eating the meals I prepare when I am scheduled to eat them. Making sure not to ruin my appetite with sweets.
It’s been challenging, but I had to realize I really do not like how I feel after the holidays.
We shall see. This might be a regret, but if I lose weight this year, or simply gain no weight at all, I doubt it.
Limit your eating window
Lordy, lord, lord this one might be tough for me.
I cook and taste and I LOVE tasting my mom’s sweet potato pie filling when I help her cook. She even puts enough Paul Mason in her pies where you can kinda smell it in the filling and definitely taste it.
Then when the food is done, we literally eat Thanksgiving all day long. We eat plates for Thanksgiving, plates with the family, plates afterwards, and then for days afterwards until the leftovers run out or we finally get the sense to toss them out.
We just eat, eat, eat. I’m getting exhausted by all that eating even as I type this.
Christmas is the same deal.
So, this year I am going in with a limited set of hours for eating on the holidays. Maybe limit it to 4 hours or just eat at the party and take no leftovers.
Maybe I’ll even manage to eat just one plate per a holiday this year.
Stick to the meats and vegetables
I had to remind myself that there will be meat and vegetables there I could definitely chomp down on.
Keeping it as paleo or ketogenic as possible is possible. I don’t know if it’ll be easy, but it is simple.
I figure stick to the turkey, roast, ham, lamb, duck, and eat from the vegetable dishes. Maybe sneak in a scoop of cornbread stuffing.
Prepare your own diet-friendly holiday feast
I’ve tried this a few times and have yet to succeed.
Planning, buying special ingredients, and cooking my own dishes just seems to be something that fizzles out by the week of Thanksgiving.
At the beginning of November, I’m pumped up and ready to prep the best keto-friendly Thanksgiving ever. But come Thanksgiving week my plans change and I’m in my mom’s kitchen helping her cook the usual.
I’m making a serious effort to cook something keto-friendly this year. At least one dish.
We’ll see how it goes though.
Stay fed and hydrated
From experience I know I’ve done the best when I was well fed and hydrated.
Thinking I can fast my way through a party is laughable.
Eating foods that’ll regulate my blood sugar and make me satiated enough to not want to eat more might help.
I think for me, eating during the holidays is more of an emotional attachment to food so even eating enough might not make the difference which leads me to my next and final tip…
It’s once a year… Eat! Or is it?
Or we can just toss it all up and realize this is only once a year.
I’ve got conflicting thoughts on this concept.
On one hand, I am totally down. It’s only one time a year that I get to eat my family’s holiday menu and it is such a gooooood menu. What’s three holidays and a birthday?
But on the other hand, I know this isn’t just three holidays and a birthday. My family parties all year long it seems. We’ve got birthday parties, spring holidays, summer holidays, and just-because Sunday dinners. All of those parties really do creep up on me. In pounds.
I didn’t notice this until this year when I was thinking of how I kept excusing every time I ate the food at a party as “just this time.”
The problem is “just this time” ended up being so often I was slowing my progress.
So technically Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas and New Years Eve are just another several of the many parties I’ve been in attendance of throughout the year. Maybe cutting back won’t hurt.
Giving these tips a try this year?
The food is good, but is it good enough to slow progress, gain weight, or undo hard work?
That’s essentially the question to ponder over this season as we head into it mindful of our weight loss transformation goals.
I personally don’t want this year to be like others. I’m tired of the cycle and really have no interest in gaining another 10 pounds. I also don’t want to look stuffed in my birthday pictures.
New year, new me is coming early this year, damn it.
What are your plans?