You know how it goes, you put your summer clothes away and pull out your sweats and eat your way through the Winter. The holidays come and go, filled with rich food that you only eat during this time. You go to special events and gatherings, all of which are centered around that festive, fattening food. The excuses to overeat are as rampant as the buttercream frosting. Well, summer is over, I don’t have to worry about that damn swimsuit, this holiday only comes once a year, she made this just for me, I don’t want to hurt her feelings and it’s my FAVORITE thing! There’s always an excuse for bad behavior but that’s what they are, excuses. There is not a good reason to pile on the pounds. The average person gains about 5-7 pounds during this season but that’s only an average. A lot of people gain a lot more.
Year of Debauchery
Because I was always on a “diet” before I came to David’s Way, I conducted experiments on myself through the years trying to figure out how to navigate the landmines of gluttony. I lived through one year of making no changes to offset the seasonal weight gain. I ate whatever I wanted during all of the holidays and other special occasions throughout a year. I gained about 40 pounds that year. What I discovered is that when I let my guard down for special occasions, my habits got progressively worse all year long. As a result, by the end of that year, I was in a terrible mess! Not only was I 40 pounds heavier, my habits were horrendous. I had become accustomed to instant gratification and giving that up was very similar to drug withdrawal. I thought that when I began that experiment that I would just switch over to “good habits” for the next year of the experiment. I did switch over to good habits but with intense agony. I was so depressed that I went to the doctor for medication. Then the medication caused more weight gain. That year of re-establishing good habits was possibly the most difficult year of my life. I finally restructured my life but it was unpleasant to say the least. One of the most important things that I discovered as a result of that year was actually rather obvious. Don’t develop bad habits. If you already have them, do everything in your power to change them. Otherwise, they will destroy you. I was already fighting weight gain before I threw caution to the wind and after a year of indulgence, the fight was a struggle to survive because during that year I had developed high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and back problems. The road back to health was a hard one but I learned a few things. The next year during the Winter holidays, I got to the weight goal that I had set for myself at that time. Here’s how I managed to do that.
- As previously stated, don’t let your habits deteriorate during the Winter. Spring is coming and you won’t lose that Winter fat quickly. Your habits will insure that it’s still there on the 4th of July!
- Don’t buy those seasonal treats in the grocery store. They start showing up in August and they’re abundant til January. In that period of time you can gain a lot of weight and become profoundly sugar-addicted.
- Don’t resign yourself to sweatpants all season. They are too slouchy and allow for huge weight gains. They make you feel that the fat is hidden, but it’s not. When you work out, wear form-fitting work-out clothes. Get rid of those sweats!
- Don’t let the shorter, darker days make you less active. Sometimes when the light levels are low, we tend to be lethargic. We may sleep more and skip workouts. Actively fight against that. If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder you might want to get a special light that’s made to keep your circadian rhythms more normal.
- Be pro-active at special meals. Carry healthy food that you can eat without packing on the pounds. We have a healthy recipe for almost anything that you might like. If you want something that you don’t find, just tell us what recipe that you would like to have and we’ll either create a healthy version or find one. You might want to try https://davidsway.blog/2019/10/16/sugar-free-red-velvet-cake/ for a healthy version of the seasonal favorite, Red Velvet Cake.
- Wear snug-fitting clothes to dinners and other events involving food. You won’t eat nearly as much.
- Stay well-hydrated. When you’re full of water, you will eat less and have fewer cravings. You won’t bloat as much from fluid retention or constipation. The only exception to this is if you are fluid-restricted by your medical doctor.
- Eat breakfast. Your blood sugar will be more stable all day long and that means less binge eating. Pack in some protein and a good dose of complex carbs like eggs and oats and you will be less likely to overeat later in the day.
- Have a small healthy snack just before the event. Include protein and fiber from complex carbs. An apple with a couple of Tablespoons of peanut butter or an apple with cheese sticks are good to curb cravings and stabilize your blood sugar to avoid being overly hungry.
- When you get to the meal, avoid the heavy appetizers. Hydrate with a 0-calorie drink and get involved in socializing.
- If you are in a room where you can walk away from the food, do so. I know you have seen the people who hover right next to the dessert table. Don’t be one of them. Stay away from the food if you can until it’s time to eat and then move in and fix a healthy plate and move to the other side of the room.
- Avoid alcohol. It will pack in the calories and lower your inhibitions and cause you to overeat.
- Avoid the sugary concoctions that people are calling coffee. If it has a boatload of sugar in it, it’s dessert.
- Go outside if at all possible. A walk in the fresh air will clear your head and allow you to refocus on your goals.
- Avoid sugar. Again, carry a healthy alternative. If you are determined to have a particular dessert, have one serving and be done. We strongly encourage you to avoid sugar. It is hard to stop that habit and it fills your body with empty calories. Nothing good can come of it.
- BUY GOOD, HEALTHY FOOD. You may say that you can’t afford it. While you might be able to find cheap, processed, unhealthy ‘food” that will stave off hunger for a little while, it won’t satisfy you for very long. Your body will make you hungry over and over until you have eaten way too many calories when you try to live on low-quality food. As your health deteriorates, the doctor’s visits and medications will get more expensive than any food that you might buy.
- Whenever possible, eat at home. You might be able to eat at home and then join the group for an outing. We will almost always eat better if we eat at home.
- Make sure to keep up a good workout schedule all Winter. Try upping your effort and if you keep your nutrition good, you may drop a few pounds! Visit the https://davidsway.blog/calorie-counter-pro-free-calorie-calculator/ to get a free individualized calorie count just for you. Always consult your physician before beginning any weight loss program. We advise you to try to lose only 1 pound per week. The Calorie Counter Pro will also give you the calorie count to gain or maintain.
With mindfulness and minimal effort, you can avoid weight gain this Winter and drop a few pounds to greet the Spring.