It’s the time of year when food is in abundance and messing up your diet is easy to do. But with a little planning and some tough love, staying committed to your weight loss goals is completely possible.
Steve Siebold, author of the international bestsellers “Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People” and “Fat Loser! Mental Toughness Training for Dieters,” offers these tips:
1. Stop Cheating: You wouldn’t cheat on your spouse in a committed relationship, so why would you cheat on something as important as your diet and health? Sounds harsh, but if you’re going to get fit, it’s all or nothing, even at the holidays.
2. Expect Challenges: You know the cravings and other challenges are going to come up, so don’t let them catch you off guard. Have a plan in place to push forward when this happens so you stay compliant to your diet.
3. Take Responsibility: Realize that ultimately being fit and healthy is completely your responsibility, and blaming the holidays for your weight gain is just as bad as blaming other outside factors the rest of the year such as restaurants, the food manufacturers and portion sizes.
4. Don’t Eat For Pleasure: Find happiness in the holidays not from food, but in time spent with friends and family creating a lifetime of memories and new traditions. Begin to see eating only as a means to increase health, energy and vitality.
5. Remember Your Why: Most people fail because they forget their ‘Why’ or reason for wanting to lose weight. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to create a vision board filled with pictures of lean, fit and sexy people. Hang it in a very visible location. Daily exposure to the vision board will reinforce your health goals.
6. Just Say No: There’s plenty of peer pressure at the holidays to try your mother’s homemade apple pie or best friend’s mashed potatoes. Just say ‘No’ and stop worrying about what they think. If they truly care about you, they’ll understand that your diet is important to you.
7. Ask The Question: Before you put anything in your mouth, always ask yourself, “How is this food going to impact my health?” Think long and hard about your answer and the potential consequences that will come.
8. Don’t Associate Dieting With Drudgery: If you’re on a diet during the holidays, don’t look at dieting as drudgery, but see it as a strategy for a lifetime to keep you healthy, looking good and feeling great.
9. Don’t Let Yourself Start Over: It’s not okay to start over again on Monday or after the holidays. It’s a common psychological trap with the core belief being, “I can eat the same and get different results.” Starting over on Monday is an endless loop that keeps people fat forever.
1o. Don’t Be Ashamed To Let People Know You’re Dieting: Most people won’t admit they’re dieting at the holidays because they don’t trust themselves enough to put their word on the line. By telling everyone you know creates additional pressure and motivation to propel forward when the going gets tough. It’s the tactically intelligent thing to do.