The Holidays are notoriously the most fattening time of year when certain treats and traditions are in abundance. Why not make this holiday season different from all the rest and either maintain your weight or even lose a few pounds? Over our 30 years of holiday seasons, we’ve seen great success in clients actually losing 10-15 lbs. between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Here are the winning holiday strategies compiled by your Healthy Way counselors, with the best wishes for a bright and light holiday season and in to the New Year with your weight loss resolutions! We have lots of recipe ideas too! Bring in your favorite family recipes and we will try to “slimmer-ize” it for you.

GENERAL TIPS FOR WEIGHT LOSS and WEIGHT MAINTENANCE

Whatever the goal may be, it is vital to take time to RELAX AND PLAN AHEAD. Developing a strategy for success can help eliminate last minute stressors. Complete The Healthy Way Holiday Survival Guide to help develop a plan, so you know exactly how to deal with the season. Ask your counselor for tips on relaxation, visualization and mindfulness.
CONTINUE TO MOVE. Get your exercise in one way or another. Start a new tradition: After the meal, take the party members for a walk; Park further away when shopping; Go for a hike or walk in the morning before the festivities begin.
WAIT 20 MINUTES AFTER EATING. Before returning for seconds, allow your body to tell your brain you’ve had enough.
STEP AWAY FROM THE FOOD. Don’t hang out near the hors d’oeuvre or dessert table.
CHEW GUM, USE A SMALL PLATE AND KEEP A GLASS OF WATER IN YOUR HANDS. Keeping your hands occupied, and gum in your mouth will help to deter from unconscious hand to mouth activity. Also, using a small plate will keep your portions small.
WEAR CLOTHING THAT DOESN’T EXPAND WITH YOU. This way you are unlikely to overeat if you feel your clothes are snug.
IF YOU CHOOSE TO INDULGE, do so by the bite, eat slowly and savor each taste. If you must have a full size portion, enjoy it, without guilt and get back on plan the very next day.
HAVE A BITE OF DESSERT rather than the whole thing when a taste will satisfy the urge.
REMEMBER YOUR SLEEP. Research shows we need at least 7 hours of REM sleep to control homeostasis in the body to maintain hormone balance.
JOURNAL AND BE MINDFUL. These two techniques will keep you accountable throughout the holiday season

LOSE WEIGHT AT PARTIES

DON’T STARVE ALL DAY SO YOU CAN OVERINDULGE LATER! Research has shown that eating most of your calories at one time will cause you to gain weight, by negatively affecting blood sugar levels.
EAT AN APPLE AND DRINK A LARGE GLASS OF WATER BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR THE PARTY TO HELP TAKE THE EDGE OFF YOUR HUNGER. Do you remember your mother warning you not to eat before dinner because it would spoil your appetite? Well, the reverse of that advice can be exactly what you need before attending a dinner party.
YOU AND ONLY YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE AND YOUR WAISTLINE. Don’t feel pressured or obligated to eat something you really don’t want. Leave it on your plate, cover it up with a napkin or simply say 
“No Thank You”.
MAKE A COMMITMENT.
As soon as you accept the invitation, promise yourself to stay on your healthy food plan.
Write it down as an affirmation.
SET UP A REWARD SYSTEM. If you stay on your food plan, you can buy that terrific new outfit you saw or another non-food related treat.
FOCUS ON ENJOYING THE COMPANY of the other guests, instead of the food being served. Change the mindset of being deprived, to the fact you are honoring your body with health!
DON’T AVOID THE SCALE. Set a realistic amount of weight to lose or maintain during the holiday and plan in advance to weigh the morning after the party.
DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES. Alcohol will stop a steady weight loss for up to three days. Choose mineral water with a twist of lemon or lime instead of the holiday spirits. If you must indulge, have a wine spritzer. The least caloric liquor is vodka. Ask your counselor for the Alcohol and Weight Loss Don’t Mix handout.
BRING SOMETHING YOU CAN EAT. Your hostess will appreciate the gesture and you can be assured of having healthy food you can enjoy.
PERUSE THE OPTIONS BEFORE SERVING YOURSELF. Especially at a buffet, take an overview of what is being served, before you get in line.
TAKE YOUR TIME WHEN EATING. Set your utensils down after each bite. Chew each bite 50 to 100 times. This helps digestion. Relax! Take sips of water throughout the meal.
REMEMBER: DISTINCTLY SEPARATE LOVE AND FOOD. Instead of consuming a slice of mom’s pumpkin pie, tell her you’d rather treat yourself to a big hug. Smile and stay in a place of gratitude.