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Six Tips for Staying on Track with Health and Weight Loss Goals at Thanksgiving and During the Holiday Season

Natalie
Stein
November 10, 2021
Six Tips for Staying on Track with Health and Weight Loss Goals
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In this article: 

  • Have a "normal" routine as much as possible before and after Thanksgiving and other holiday meals.
  • Enjoy treats, but choose them carefully.
  • Stay in tune with your body and your needs.
  • Use Lark to help you stay on track. You can log and track meals, weight, and physical activity in the app. Plus Lark offers coaching 24/7 through your smartphone for tips on health and weight loss during this time of year.

The holiday season leads to weight gain for many people, but it does not need to. These tips for Thanksgiving and the start of the season can help you stay on track with your health and weight loss goals.

1. Be Picky

Be picky this Thanksgiving to stay on track with your health and weight loss goals. Say "Yes," to what you really want. Say, "No," to what you do not want. These are some examples.

  • Eat only the Thanksgiving treats that you really love. Leave the others for other people.
  • Only attend events that are meaningful to you. There is no need to accept every invitation you receive.
  • Consider whether an easy gift card or online order will be okay for most people for your holiday gifts. Those gifts can save a lot of stress and time compared to shopping in person.

2. Aim for Balance

Thanksgiving dinner will probably include some high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. It is okay to have some of them. Select small amounts of one or two (or even more) of the very best-looking items. These might be special holiday foods that you look forward to all year.

After you choose your "must-have" treats, try to balance them out. Try to fill your plate with more nutritious foods. These may be available.

  • Green salad with dressing on the side
  • Grilled or roasted vegetables without butter or cream sauce, such as roasted brussels sprouts
  • Lean protein, such as skinless turkey breast
  • Fresh fruit
  • Raw vegetables
  • Water and seltzer water

Are you unsure of whether you can find something healthy to eat at Thanksgiving? These are some tips for making sure there are healthy choices available almost anywhere!

3. Be Normal 

Many things change during the holidays. Parties, family dinners, and holiday meals themselves can throw off your usual healthy habits. Those "special events" are okay if they are few and far between. A cheat meal on Thanksgiving is fine if you stay on track before and after it.

These are some tips for keeping Thanksgiving from ruining your healthy eating plans.

  • Start the day with a healthy breakfast.
  • Get in some physical activity before the big meal.
  • Do not go to dinner while very hungry. Have a snack beforehand, if necessary.

It is no big deal if you overdo it at a holiday event. Just make sure you go back to your usual routine right afterwards. Otherwise, the extra pounds will pile on if each "cheat meal" becomes a cheat day or cheat week!

4. Be Appreciative

Negative thoughts can get you down during the holidays. They can make you lose sight of your weight loss and health goals. They can discourage you from trying anymore.

But a positive attitude can help you stay on track. It can motivate you to make good choices most of the time. And good choices during the holiday season can prevent excessive holiday weight gain.

Here are some tips on appreciation.

  • Think about your hard work this year. Have you lost weight or made good choices for your health? Be proud!
  • Enjoy each bite of every treat that you choose to eat. There is no need to 
  • Thank your body for what it can do. Celebrate it by staying physically active as much as possible.
  • Cherish relationships with friends and family. Spend quality time with them when you can. And skip get-togethers that feel like a duty.

5. Take Time for Yourself

Take time for yourself during this often hectic time. When you clear your head, you can make better decisions for your health. These are some ways to spend your "me" time for better health.

  • Eat right. Plan healthy meals, prep healthy snacks, and check nutrition info before you eat.
  • Exercise. Physical activity can improve mental focus, Plus it can keep you aware of how your body feels. That can motivate you to keep weight off.
  • Yoga or meditation. Stress management techniques, such as these, are a healthier way to manage emotions than stress eating.
  • Be creative. Doodle, paint, or plan a garden. Any way that you can be creative can free your mind.

6. Stay Engaged

Stay engaged to stay on track. If you stop thinking about your health for several weeks during the holiday season, it is likely that you will add some weight by January. On the other hand, there is no need to obsess over your health. Here are some do's and don'ts of staying engaged.

DO… DON’T…
  • Be aware of how choices might affect health
  • Try to balance less-healthy treats with nutritious foods during parties and other holiday events
  • Log everything you eat in Lark
  • Eat holiday treats you love and look forward to each year
  • Go back to your regular healthy eating pattern right after a party
  • Make healthy swaps when you can
  • Weigh yourself regularly
  • Ignore your body or conscience during this time
  • Obsess over being “perfect”
  • “Sneak” bites without logging them
  • Eat food just because it is there or someone offers it to you
  • Skip parties or events that are important to you
  • Deprive yourself of favorite items
  • Get upset if weight loss is slower now than it was earlier in the year

 

Lark can help you stay on track during the holiday season. Lark's nutrition and weight loss coaching includes daily check-ins, meal logging features, and instant feedback. And if motivation is what you need during this busy season, Lark is available 24/7 to provide it. 

Healthy eating during the holidays does not mean giving up everything you love. There are ways to fit in your favorites and stay true to tradition while making healthy choices. Lark can help you make small changes that can keep you on track. 

Your health insurance might cover Lark at no cost to you. Click here to find out if you may be eligible for Lark!

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