Spring has sprung!
My Sweet Peas are just about to bloom, Easter and Passover are on the horizon and kids are off from school.
That means family time, a few large meals, abundant chocolate and shifting schedules. It may even mean some travel.
Good time for a refresher of the Happier Holiday Habits:
1. Set a goal for the week.
2. Plan it.
3. Stay connected.
4. Be kind.
Set a goal for the week
This is vital.
It’s the first step in being conscious of your food week.
Knowing what your week will look like (travel, family in town, kids to entertain, etc.), then deciding on a realistic weight goal for the week will set you on the right path.
Your goal could be to maintain your current weight. It may be to continue losing. It might even be to gain a couple of pounds, with a plan to drop those the following week when things get back to normal.
Making a conscious decision about the week will guide the choices you make each day. It’s the structure we need to succeed.
Plan the week
The next step is getting as detailed as possible.
And write it all down!
If you are home, which meals will be restaurant meals and which will be home-cooked?
Can you decide what to eat ahead of time? It’s a great time to plan your meal schedule and create your shopping list.
If you will be traveling, is it to someone’s house or a hotel? If it’s a rental-type place with a kitchen, how many meals will be cooked there?
Writing your plan on a calendar, sheet of paper, or in your phone will start the future visualization process, making the real-time food decisions more likely to happen as planned.
As you go through the week, things may not go according to plan.
This is where staying connected to your food choices and your stated goal comes into play. If not for those anchors, we would likely throw up our hands and give up trying.
Every conscious food decision saves calories. Every one.
Ate more than planned last night? Where can you make up for it today or tomorrow? (And just to be clear, I certainly don’t mean skipping a meal! I mean skipping dessert or limiting alcohol.) Maybe you can you fit in an extra walk.
It all makes a difference.
The truth is, staying connected is the win.
It’s when we go unconscious and stay there that trouble happens. Waking up, as soon as possible, will always get you to your goal. Always.
Which leads us to the last step:
This step is here as an important reminder. When your plan goes off course, it’s this step that will allow you to get back on.
Beating yourself up never works. Never.
Seeing the situation for what it was (did you get too hungry for that meal? No snack available? Was it a surprise buffet? Your favorite dessert? A couple glasses of wine?) can give you insight for how to plan for the next time, and it can also get you off the hook so you take the unplanned eating less personally.
Then we can just accept it and move on.
Better luck next time.
We only have to wait a few hours for the very next meal to choose differently.
A Happier Holiday is yours with structure, awareness and kindness.
I’d love to know how it goes—leave a comment below telling me which piece worked best for you.