Weight Loss Support - What are your plans for the holidays?




kirsteng
11-13-2011, 04:04 PM
Just wondering how you all get through the holidays.

I've always been a Christmas gainer. I LOVE the Christmas treats, making cookies, chocolates, I make caramels every year.. so it's not just Christmas day or even Christmas week, really the holidays last a month and I pay for it a long time afterward.

I have never tried to 'diet' over the holidays, so I'm wondering how those of you who have - get through it. Do you give yourself a freebie for Christmas (or Hanukkah etc) day alone? Or do you manage yourself the whole time? How about alcohol, Christmas parties etc? Family coming to stay - cooking higher calorie meals etc?

I want to have a game plan in place so that I can get through December with a loss, and preferably a reasonable loss! ;)


JessLess
11-13-2011, 04:27 PM
We are cooking Thanksgiving at our house, so plenty of control over providing healthy options there. I'm Jewish so the whole Christmas tradition of certain foods is not really an issue for me, fortunately. We tried to make baked potato pancakes for Hannukah last year and they were inedible, maybe better luck this year?

The worst by far is all the cookies and chocolate in my office. I'm so tempted to put dish washing liquid on it all, but that would ruin the fun for everyone else who doesn't have issues with food (that I'm aware of).

CherryPie99
11-13-2011, 06:21 PM
I've been on this journey for 1 1/2 years. I plan to handle the holidays this year the exact same way I did last year - eating exactly on plan every single day EXCEPT the day of Thanksgiving and the day of Xmas. On those 2 days only, I will eat whatever I want.


luckymommy
11-13-2011, 06:24 PM
Every year, I plan to only eat a little bit and no seconds, but so far, I've never succeeded. I would say that it's probably ok to indulge a bit on the actual day where you will have your celebratory feast but not for an entire month. Also, maybe you could branch out and explore healthy recipes and substitutes. Some people will try to fill up on salad and meat/turkey but then only have one desert of their choice. It's different for everyone, but the point is to think of a plan that you think you could stick to like glue and to try. :)

sandcar150
11-13-2011, 06:38 PM
I'm with CherryPie! I have not strayed off plan since July 25th of this year, but in the past when my resolve to get to goal was as strong as it is this time, I did allow myself holidays (and holidays only) off. I look forward to pumpkin pie all year long, not having any until Thanksgiving day, so I will allow myself a small slice.

I doubt I can eat much on Thanksgiving and Christmas day anyway. I don't know what it is, but lately I get extremely full with so much less food (thank God). So I'll probably give myself a tablespoon of everything we serve in order to save room for the pie.

shishkeberry
11-13-2011, 09:23 PM
We stay home for Thanksgiving. We're making the same things as last year, but I'm not going to eat as much. I'm going to make healthier versions of somethings, like green bean casserole and I'll be eating my sweet potatoes plain. And instead of regular pumpkin pies, I'm making little 100 calorie tartlets.

For Christmas we stay home on the Eve drinking hot chocolate and watching Christmas movies. We'll open presents in the morning, eat a light breakfast, and then head over to the ILs for lunch/dinner and more presents. I probably won't count my calories there. They all know that I'm losing weight (can't really hide it anymore! :lol: ) but I'm still embarrassed to measure my food in front of other people. So I'll just stick to one serving of everything and maybe split a brownie with SIL.

I make fudge as gifts and that might be trouble this year since I'm making some new gourmet flavors. I think I will have to limit myself to one square a day until I've tried all the flavors (pumpkin, candy cane, drk chocolate jalapeno, chocolate bacon, and coffee).

snarkysharky
11-14-2011, 12:40 AM
Going out to eat, so I don't have to deal with leftovers

SunnyJee
11-14-2011, 02:46 AM
This issue has been on my mind a LOT lately....

Christmas last year was quite challenging for me. Had maintained throughout the year at 124lbs, but got up to 127lbs by the end of December. That got my butt into bootcamp for 2011!!

2 days ago, I hit 110lbs. Had to rub my eyes at the scale because I couldn't believe I had hit my year goal. 110lbs was a pipe dream for me. I'm still surprised I made it. I weighed myself yesterday, and sure enough...still 110.

I feel more motivation than ever to maintain this number through December. I don't think it will be easy...I absolutely love baked goods (Christmas cookies and baking, etc), and between relatives homes and workplace....well, this is going to SUCK.

But what a gift to myself....what a Christmas present, to not have only hit my goal weight (for this year), but to maintain it throughout the holidays... Wouldn't that be the most amazing thing I could do for myself? Wouldn't that mean more than any Christmas chocolate? Or cookie?

I think my plan will be to eat whatever I want on Christmas Day. THAT'S IT. The only day. I don't plan on being a pig about it either. I'll have turkey. I'll have a roll. I'll have veggies, and I'll have a piece of pie and maybe a cookie or two. I'll enjoy it. And at the stroke of midnight, it will be over.

I'll be on the treadmill the next morning, with a big smile on my face.

lin43
11-14-2011, 08:05 AM
Like you, Christmas is a "season" for me, not just one day. Also, it is my absolutely FAVORITE time of year, so I plan to enjoy it, and a big part of that enjoyment for me is the food. My plan is as follows:

1) I'll eat those treats I LOVE but forego the ones I just like. For instance, I LOVE stuffing, so I plan to have some on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I just "like" candied yams, so I'll prepare & eat my yam plain. I LOVE pecan pie, but I just like butter cookies, so I'll save my calories for the former & forego the latter. You get the picture.

2) I plan to be on maintenance calories throughout the season. I'm actually okay with the way I look now; if I lose more, fine, and if I don't, fine. But even if I wanted to lose more, I would put it off for the holidays. My holiday goal is to maintain. I know many would not agree with that, but the holidays only come once a year, and it's worth it to me to give myself permission to maintain during this time of year.

3) I calorie cycle, and I save calories for when I know a special event is coming up. So, on most regular days during the holidays, I won't be indulging in a cookie at night with my espresso. I'll forego the cream in my coffee half the time (I like black coffee, too :) ). These little changes and others like them will result in a 200 or so calorie deficit each day, and I'll "bank" those (to use an old WW term) for the days when I need them. This is what worked for me this summer.

4) I plan to be consistent with my exercise. This hasn't really been a problem for me this time around, but I'm going to be especially diligent during the holidays.

5) Finally, I'm going to indulge in treats that still seem "holiday-ish" without breaking the calorie bank---e.g., Tazo organic Chai tea with a dash of cream and sugar (this smells like the holidays), some rich homemade hot cocoa (less than 200 calories), a nightcap of just 1/4 cup of egg nog and a dash of rum (again, less than 200 calorie). These are are Christmas treats that are relatively low in calories.

sontaikle
11-14-2011, 08:08 AM
I'm never having an "off-plan" day, even when I hit maintenance. Each holiday is going to be properly planned for :)

I never really went totally off track during the holidays and I think it was the constant exercise that helped me avoid gaining weight (I maintained 200 pounds for about five years). I know that it'll be harder now as I'm about 60 pounds less and therefore need to eat less overall, but I've got a bit of a game plan set up thus far:

Thanksgiving: I mentioned this in the featherweights chat, but my family always has an early meal, around 2 or 3pm. The tradition is that we always starve ourselves until then so we can go crazy, but I'm not doing that.

I plan to have a 100 calorie breakfast, one that I know will keep me fullish until meal time. I'll make sure to drink a lot of water and a can of Diet Coke to keep me full until we mealtime. From there I'm not going to try to count calories, but I'll do a bit of portion control. However, I've become so adjusted to eating less that I know I simply won't be able to go crazy at this meal unless I want to feel sick.

This then leaves room for the pumpkin pie, which my mother and I are making this year <3

Christmas: Christmas is really similar to Thanksgiving, only there are added treats to dodge. I've become completely averse to eating sweets now, so I'm not really concerned about going overboard here. We might make another pumpkin pie, so while I don't care much for sweets anymore, I might treat myself to a slice. ;)

myfuzzywuzzy
11-14-2011, 03:44 PM
the last straw for me was this weekend when I had the biggest fight with my bf over my weight. He cares and wants me to try and he feels like i'm not trying as much as I say i am (i'm really not)

He then breaks down and starts to cry about how hard it is for him when he's trying to be supportive and i tell him he makes me feel less than worthless. Seeing a grown man cry for me, i have to do it for real this time. No more crash diet, no more bingeing because there's a good show on.

I'm doing it for me but I'm using him as my motivation. I know he cares about me alot, will give me the sweater off his back, etc etc and all he ask is that i do what i say I'm going to, instead of just being miserable about my weight and then eating like its my last day on Earth.

Today I'm 185, going to work hard to be at 160 (realistic) to 150 (ideal) by end of Feb. I can do this~

Sunshine73
11-14-2011, 04:01 PM
I was talking to my hubs about this very thing over the weekend.

I'm such a food person at the holidays that it just wouldn't seem like the Christmas season without some treats and indulgences.

So, I've decided to:

1. Give myself a pass on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. I won't go nuts (because then I would get miserably sick) but I will have what I'd like to have without any guilt).

2. Enjoy some treats of the season without guilt. For example, this weekend we went to the Festival of Trees where I got my traditional peppermint hot cocoa. I will most likely also get a bag of roasted pecans on Black Friday and enjoy the lighted parade with a cup of hot cocoa as well.

3. I'm going to bake - and when I bake I know I'm going to sample - and I've decided that's okay. I'm not going to go crazy with it (I couldn't anymore even if I wanted to - my body is just too sensitive to carbs and I'd end up sick) but I'm not going to beat myself up over it either.

4. As with all other times, I'm going to do my level best to stay on plan 99.9% of the time.

I'm not going to feel guilty or feel that I've ruined my healthy eating patterns. These are aberrations - they are no longer my norm and it's okay for me to enjoy the trappings of the season.

LandonsBaby
11-14-2011, 05:19 PM
I keep kosher and I'm gluten free so that means I can't eat about 90% of what is available. That's how I'll deal with it. I guess in a way, that makes it easy. I already know I won't eat much and I'm not worried about it. As long as I don't bring home any stupid Chanukah candy like I did last year, I should be fine. Actually, I'm worried about not having enough to eat because we will spend Christmas with my husband's family for two days. I may actually have to cook something I know I can eat. His mom tries but it's not her job to make sure I have enough kosher gluten free food for two days.

bellastarr
11-14-2011, 08:50 PM
i'm eating whatever i want thanksgiving day and christmas eve and day but thats it!!!

Blueberries
11-15-2011, 10:37 AM
My commitment to myself is to write down and account for every single thing I eat, every single day. I'm using an old WW points system, so for me that means that I will make choices based on how many points I have available to me, be honest about it, and move on.

That being said, Thanksgiving food is really not my thing anyway, so I'm not too worried about that specific day. I'm a little more worried about spending a few days in my in-laws' house where there will be snacky things around. I'm used to eating lots of small meals, but I keep great choices around my own house. It's harder for me when I'm in an environment I can't control, but it's great practice for lifelong maintenance!

kirsteng
11-15-2011, 10:42 AM
Sounds like a lot of people are going to be good every other day, but allow themselves Thanksgiving and Christmas days to not worry about it. I think I will do exactly the same thing... and I'm not too worried about how much damage I'll do in 2 days, as, like some other people have mentioned, I know longer have the stomach capacity to eat too much. I get full ridiculously quickly, and I get tipsy after a single glass of wine (maybe because my stomach is rarely full??). Anyhow, that in itself will certainly curb excesses on my 'two days off'. ;)

liliesinmycereal
11-16-2011, 10:15 PM
My goals are to exercise exercise exercise!! I want to look good in the pictures for the holidays so I will exercise and eat sensibly not denying but not over indulging (my body will reject the really unhealthy foods anyway)! It's going to be party after party and I barely squeeze into my Christmas dress now so I want to be kind of comfortable in it.

Mimzzy
11-16-2011, 11:01 PM
I have never been watching what I eat over the holidays so its new territory for me but I have set a couple rules for me to follow in place to ensure I don't over do it.

1) Skip the gravy! Its a topping I don't need and food is just as good without it!
2) Salad to start - hopefully having a nice bowl of salad right off the bat will help me eat less of the higher calorie foods.
3) If I want something bad like a treat keep my portions down and give my boyfriend at least half to cut calories. Although I am still going to try and stay away from the treats table!
4) Keep consistently working out
5) Try and go for the lower calorie treats instead of diving into the carrot cake and pie!

Above all I am going to give it my best try to stay on plan 99% of the time. Its going to be hard but I believe if I can get through this the rest of the year will be a breeze!

Kahokkuri
11-16-2011, 11:11 PM
I've been thinking about my trip home for Christmas and New Year's and have decided that I'm going to do my damnedest to not overeat. I will eat my favorite foods because I freaking miss them–who wouldn't miss pineapple stuffing, Jello "salad" and honey baked ham at least a little?–but I won't eat just to keep tasting them. I will stop when I'm full because all the leftovers will still be there the next day.

I'll also be working out four days a week at my old gym which has way more equipment than my current one, so I'll fully utilize that in order to combat holiday laziness.

NEMom
11-17-2011, 10:07 AM
I have been mentally planning for the holidays for a couple of weeks now. I decided that I am going to allow myself to eat what I want but I am going to practice portion control. Stuffing is not my thing but oh the mash potatoes and gravy are. I love warm rolls with lots of butter. I am going to eat as many veggies before hand without ranch dressing. I am going to allow myself to sample so of the desserts but I am going to force myself to wait an hour or so after I eat before I hit the dessert table. After I have had my dessert then I am done. I have a bad habit of eating pie all night long. I have two teenage boys at home so hopefully any left over desserts will not last long.
I will exercise as usually on Thanksgiving but not Friday. I have lots of shopping to do, that will burn some calories.

sacha
11-17-2011, 10:13 AM
I'm in Canada so Thanksgiving is long gone.

Christmas here is going to be some nice reasonable food for my family/child, no 10 days+ worth of leftovers, just a typical one night meal (only a bit nicer), and that's it. No junk on the 24th and no junk on the 26th. I don't believe in making/baking insane amounts of food in December just because it's December. I'm not interested in gaining 5lbs "just because". If others can avoid eating it then that's their prerogative but I'm not going to kid myself, I will simply overeat

NorthernExposure
11-17-2011, 10:37 AM
I try to limit my indulgences to a few days. Thanksgiving, Christmas eve, Christmas Day and our work Holiday party. I pretty much allow myself to eat (and drink) what I want on those days, but try to keep my portions sane. On all the other days, I try to keep with my regular plan as usual. That doesn't mean I don't cave in to the occasional Christmas cookie (or whatever), but I try to work it into my calories if I do.

I don't keep extra goodies in the house. Thankfully, I'm not expected to bake, so i don't. We host Thanksgiving dinner but try to send most of the leftover food home with guests. Refusing to take extra treats and such after Christmas dinner with the folks is hard...if I get too much, I'll freeze or give away what I can (work is always a good place to unload extra food!)

I am realistic in knowing that there are more temptations this time of year and that I won't be perfect. Thus, my primary goal between Thanksgiving and New Years will be to not gain. If I lose, great, but I'm not expecting it.

Munchy
11-17-2011, 10:41 AM
Mom and I cook Thanksgiving dinner together and Christmas brunch. All dishes are relatively healthy, but there is just so much food and drink around.

Thanksgiving: Turkey, tofurkey, mushroom and turkey gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, vegetarian stuffing, sweet potatoes, whole grain cornbread, vegetarian collard greens, low cal green bean casserole, and desserts (I always make one that is low calorie/low sugar but I don't eat any of them), and plenty of wine and alcohol.

Christmas eve is usually appetizers and drinks. We make homemade guacamole w/tortilla chips, low cal mushroom strudel, low cal buffalo chicken dip w/celery, edamame potstickers, etc.

Christmas has been a brunch for the past few years, and I've been making a low cal egg/bread/cheese/veggie brunch casserole to go with our TJ turkey bacon, soysage, fruit, and homemade whole wheat savory and sweet waffles (which I never eat as I'm not a big waffle fan). I just have to watch for the mimosas and bloody mary's.

I don't eat much because it tends to make me feel stomach pain for days. I do, however, like to drink alcohol. That's where I need to watch my calories.

wickedlady
11-18-2011, 09:14 AM
I plan on exercising the morning of Thanksgiving, and the day AFTER. Maybe get in a walk with the family after the big meal.

In general, I plan on bringing something healthy to all of my holiday gatherings. For Thanksgiving I am roasting a bunch of fall vegetables. Simple and delicious! I won't mind filling up on those instead of less healthy options. Realistically, I will eat some rich, buttery stuff, but I feel good about contributing something healthy & delicious to the table :)

wtfudge
11-18-2011, 09:41 AM
Haha I'm having my boyfriend's parents meet mine for the first time ever this Thanksgiving. It's at my house... they're bringing the dog. I feel like the holiday's focus will be on conversations and uh happiness? lol so of course there will be red wine :P I'm vegetarian so we'll probably have something hamster-friendly (my boyfriend's words) like asparagus and gravy or spinach casserole or something hahaha

Beach Patrol
11-18-2011, 10:15 AM
I plan to have Thanksgiving dinner as if tomorrow were the end of the world.
:rofl:

Otherwise, I will eat like I normally eat - logging my calories, low-intake of sugary stuff, etc.

But Thanksgiving... Thanksgiving is OFF LIMITS to my diet. :hungry:

Horo
11-19-2011, 03:53 AM
I plan to indulge a bit on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Christmas is my mother's birthday and New Years is my birthday, so I figure some of the holidays and birthdays are at least compacted into a smaller total of indulgent days.
I eat a vegan diet and my brother is vegetarian, so I will be cooking the food for the both of us separate from my mother and father's meals. The plus side to that is that, since half of the family is having a different meal than the other half, there will be smaller portions cooked all around and so less leftovers for me to pick on after the fact. I also will be cooking things that are generally just healthier than the average holiday fare, because that's just the way I eat now.

The downside? My experiments in vegan pie making have been so delicious that my mother has been relieved of her duties in non-vegan-holiday-pies, and therefore I will be in charge of the pumpkin and the pecan pie for Thanksgiving. Somehow when the pies are off limits because they're not vegan I have no problem not eating them, but when there are delicious vegan pies around we have a whole different story.. :T
I'll also be making my mother either cupcakes or pie for her birthday on Christmas, and vegan chocolate cheesecake for myself on my birthday.

I just plan of having a bit of everything I cook on those three days and sending as much of the leftovers I can home with my brother.

magraba
11-19-2011, 09:01 AM
it is going to be REALLY hard for me... we don't have Thanksgiving here, but my daughter and I are having a two weeks holiday at the end of December... which means to say that for a couple of weeks I will be eating in restaurants at least twice a day and my only exercise will be walking around.
So what I think i will do is to have breakfast and dinner, and to get just a little fruit for lunch. I am going to Florida: do you Americans think it's doable? any better suggestions? Should I start a new thread on this...?!??!?!!?

one small bowl
11-19-2011, 02:17 PM
I use a combination of planning certain foods in my calorie plan, some foods are changed/substituted to fit into my low carb needs, and I allow a higher calorie amount on the actual day of the holiday, but I still count everything. For me it is about what my needs are at the time, right now, my needs are to lose weight so I will make sure I do not tempt myself unnecessarily (by baking) that I do find alternative foods and that I take the time to enjoy all that is a part of the holiday that isn't about food at all.

I like to remind myself that there are thousands of holiday recipes on the net that fit right into my diet plan and there is no reason not to use them to my advantage!

sontaikle
11-19-2011, 02:50 PM
So I just found out that my gym is going to have a spin class on Thanksgiving morning! I'm totally psyched about this but I'm wondering if it's sad that I'm thrilled about being able to get up early on thanksgiving to exercise!

Oh well, my plan is going to stay the same. Tiny breakfast, thanksgiving meal and then pumpkin pie :) only then I'll feel better about about it all if I get to exercise!

theox
11-19-2011, 04:47 PM
it is going to be REALLY hard for me... we don't have Thanksgiving here, but my daughter and I are having a two weeks holiday at the end of December... which means to say that for a couple of weeks I will be eating in restaurants at least twice a day and my only exercise will be walking around.
So what I think i will do is to have breakfast and dinner, and to get just a little fruit for lunch. I am going to Florida: do you Americans think it's doable? any better suggestions? Should I start a new thread on this...?!??!?!!?

It sounds like it should be doable, but I think that it probably depends on the specifics. Do you have a pretty good idea of what sorts of restaurants will be available where you will be going? Is it possible to get any nutritional information for any of them? Do you plan on buying fruit at restaurants (could be difficult), or buying fruit at a grocery store? Are you staying in a place that has a mini-fridge or kitchenette? That would make things a lot easier.

I'm assuming you haven't been to the US before, if you have, disregard this because you probably already know it. ;) Portions at US restaurants tend to be very large, and at many places the the calorie, fat, and sodium contents of dishes are likely to be higher than you might expect (which is why finding out the nutritional info in advance might help you). This is less likely to be true for very upscale restaurants, ethnic restaurants that serve authentic (un-Americanized) cuisine, and places that market their entire menu as being very healthy or organic. Still, an increasing number of chain restaurants offer some sort of relatively low-cal menu. It's also usually completely acceptable and relatively common to ask for changes to a dish when you order, such as asking for dressing on the side, that something be baked or steamed instead of fried, or that a specific topping not be included. There are a few places that won't customize orders (and they'll usually tell you that in the menu), but most restaurants will try to accommodate all reasonable requests. Desserts, especially at chain restaurants, tend to be large, so if you want to order dessert you may want to consider splitting something with your daughter.

seagirl
11-19-2011, 07:53 PM
I having lobster for thankgiving dinner! And pumpkin pie. Probably some veggies and wine. And I'll go for a nice bike ride thanksgiving morning. I love being one of those people out on Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings working out. Such camaraderie and good cheer!

Christmas I'll probably sneak some chocolate from the nieces and nephews stockings. Have wine. Dinner isn't usually a huge fest that day. And of course a bike ride or walk in the morning.

PencilBox
11-19-2011, 08:30 PM
Thanksgiving will probably be a challenge for me. That turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, and all the other temptations @_@
but hopefully i can eat reeaaaaaally slow to psyche myself out xD

going to california for christmas! so excited for it too~

magraba
11-20-2011, 02:29 PM
It sounds like it should be doable, but I think that it probably depends on the specifics. Do you have a pretty good idea of what sorts of restaurants will be available where you will be going? Is it possible to get any nutritional information for any of them? Do you plan on buying fruit at restaurants (could be difficult), or buying fruit at a grocery store? Are you staying in a place that has a mini-fridge or kitchenette? That would make things a lot easier.

I'm assuming you haven't been to the US before, if you have, disregard this because you probably already know it. ;) Portions at US restaurants tend to be very large, and at many places the the calorie, fat, and sodium contents of dishes are likely to be higher than you might expect (which is why finding out the nutritional info in advance might help you). This is less likely to be true for very upscale restaurants, ethnic restaurants that serve authentic (un-Americanized) cuisine, and places that market their entire menu as being very healthy or organic. Still, an increasing number of chain restaurants offer some sort of relatively low-cal menu. It's also usually completely acceptable and relatively common to ask for changes to a dish when you order, such as asking for dressing on the side, that something be baked or steamed instead of fried, or that a specific topping not be included. There are a few places that won't customize orders (and they'll usually tell you that in the menu), but most restaurants will try to accommodate all reasonable requests. Desserts, especially at chain restaurants, tend to be large, so if you want to order dessert you may want to consider splitting something with your daughter.

thank you theox for your reply. you have been really nice. Hope this is not OffTopic.
as to your first questions, I dont have a clue, but i guess the selection of restaurants will be pretty large (i am spending Christmas in Miami and new year in Orlando); I also suppose it will be possible to find a place where to buy some fruit or a yogurt or something like that, while my daughter can have a sandwich or whatever.
It's not my first time in the States but its the first in florida (I was in Illinois and California quite a few years ago) - what I know for sure is that i will try and avoid "all-you-can-eat" restaurants because otherwise I would eat non stop, and the italian ones (when in rome do as the romans do! - funny said by an italian). what i don't know is if i will manage to NOT taste food i don't usually get here... I adore meat, but i cant live on steaks for two weeks! yes, it's going to be really hard.
Good luck to us all....!!!!