• Surviving the Holidays: Diet Strategies That Work

    Thursday, June 13th, 2024

    by Judy Weitzman, Diet Coach

    Weight loss magic? How would you like to weigh the same on January 1st that you do today? Living in Chicago, I know how a diet coach or other weight loss support group near you can help you to avoid overeating during the holiday season.

    Or better yet, how would you like to start eating healthy premade meals in Chicago to help you drop a few pounds before the calendar turns to 2018? The following tips for weight control will set you up for a successful holiday season in the Windy City.

    The best part of my diet plan for Chicago suburban residents is you can have anything you want to eat, and not feel deprived. The goal is to enjoy high calorie foods in moderation. I know, easier said than done!

    How to lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived is one of the most frequent questions I receive as a diet coach.

    How to Not Gain Weight on Holiday

    good-night-sleep-for-healthFirst and foremost, to me, sleep is a miracle drug. When you are well-rested it is so much easier to make good decisions in all aspects of your life.

    People don’t talk about sleep enough when it comes to controlling your weight while on holiday. You can buy a membership at the best health club in the Chicago suburbs, but if you’re not getting your ZZZ’s, it’s not going to do you much good.

    Over the next few weeks there will be many more parties and meet-ups, where you stay up too late on a ‘school night.’

    This throws your whole world off balance. Going to bed early when you can and taking short power naps can make weight control easier.

    Set your sleep goal at 7-8 hours per night. You can do this!

    Eat Diet Meals at Home More Often

    diet-plansWe all know that restaurants infuse our food with salt, fat and sugar. As a result, our waistbands expand which is not fair.

    As you are scheduling your parties and holiday events, also schedule dinners you will eat at home. It is so much easier to eat lean when you are the chef. My clients often ask me if there are diet restaurants in Chicago. I tell them, try making some Keto Diet Chicago style pizza at home. It’s nutritious and delicious!

    On the days you have a cocktail party or holiday dinner, bring your lunch to work and eat a healthy breakfast at home so you are in control the majority of the day. If you must go out for lunch, try to find a restaurant that sells the Weight Watchers points Chicago style hot dog.

    How to Control Hunger When Dieting

    apple-slices-weight-lossShowing up hungry for an event is a license for disaster.

    When losing weight, controlling your hunger is a major issue, especially in the holiday season. My advice is before you leave the house have something small to take the edge off your hunger. A few slices of apple will often do the trick!

    The fiber in the fruit will give you a feeling of fullness and take the edge off your appetite. You’ll find it a lot easier to make healthy choices when you don’t arrive at the party hungry.

    Avoiding Weight Gain While on Vacation

    I am always disappointed that there are not more hosts using healthy party snack recipes for their guests during the holiday season.

    sit-down-enjoy-your-meal-lose-weightWorking in an office while not gaining weight is often a difficult challenge.

    At lunchtime, only eat when you are sitting down with food on a plate and you are using utensils.

    This will save you innumerable calories. Learning no to respond to hunger pangs when dieting is a big part of successful weight loss.

    How Not to Gain Weight at the Buffet

    Many parties this time of year serve food on buffets. Before you pick up your plate, take time to peruse what they are serving.

    It helps if you look at calories like they are dollars, then spend them wisely. Avoid anything fried, greasy or too cheesy.

    And remember, it’s about the people not the food. This is not the Last Supper!

    Try Low Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

    low-calorie-champagneWith fancy cocktails in vogue, beware: they are usually high in calories.

    Please keep it simple with a glass of wine or a distilled liquor mixed with water or club soda.

    The number of cocktails is important, too. Set a limit going into the evening.

    You can also alternate cocktails with water (sparkling or flat). Water is your best friend.

    Have a couple glasses of water before you go. If you don’t want to drink alcohol, order some water, sparkling or flat in a stem glass. Add a lemon or lime and it feels much sexier.

    It isn’t just the calories from the cocktails that add up, but after a cocktail or two, we lose our ability to say “no” to the party food.

    Be the Designated Driver

    By driving to an event, your friends will be thrilled to have a safe way home and you will save hundreds of calories.

    Your skinny jeans will love you for doing this!

    Order Light Meals Low in Calories

    greek-salad-mediterranean-dietLet’s say you are out to lunch or dinner with friends to celebrate the holidays, please be sure to order little.

    Avoid heavy meals and too much sugar – when we go out to eat the portions are usually huge.

    A great way to order is to have two ‘non-fried’ appetizers in lieu of an entree. The portions are the perfect size.

    Another trick is sharing – whenever possible share food with friends. It is a great way to cut calories.

    If you prefer ordering a full meal use your hand to measure the proper portion. A fist equals one cup and your palm is 3-4 ounces which is the most you need of any one item.

    Note: Talk about portion distortion! According to research, the surface area of a typical dinner plate has increased by 36 percent since 1960.

    Let’s face it: When you use a bigger plate, restaurants will add more food so the presentation looks better.

    Take Time for You

    walking-for-healthy-heart-cardiovascular-exerciseGo for a walk, get a massage, read a book … in another words, slow down and smell the roses.

    Once the holiday season kicks into high gear, we start thinking of gifts we need to buy, food to make for entertaining while running around here, there and everywhere to ensure our loved ones have a wonderful holiday.

    Please put yourself on the top of your gift list and take care of YOU! #udeserveit

    When celebrating over the next few weeks, focus on the conversations.

    It is not polite to talk with your mouth full, so the more you chat, the less you will eat!

    Please eat and drink mindfully and have a happy, healthy holiday season.

    (published November 30, 2015)

    diet-coach-judyJudy Weitzman, known as “Diet Coach Judy,” has experience in the weight loss industry that spans more than 30 years. She is the author of How to Eat When Life Gets in the Way. Besides her professional experience, she lost 50 pounds nearly 30 years ago and has maintained her lower weight. Judy has successfully helped her clients lose weight and keep it off by helping them change their behaviors. Each program is individualized and the daily support she offers helps ensure her clients’ success. To learn more about Judy, visit her website at www.dietcoachjudy.com.