How to be Successful With Your Health and Weight Loss Goals Through the Holidays

Holiday Eating

The holidays are full of memories, traditions, and togetherness. All things that bring joy into our lives! But for many that are working towards making positive changes to their lifestyle, and reaching a weight loss goal, the holidays can be filled with stress and overwhelm. 

Navigating social situations, holiday foods, cold weather, busy schedules, or even more low-key schedules given the current pandemic, can all be sources of angst for those building consistency with healthy eating patterns, consistent exercise routines, sleep, self-care, etc. 

Well, hopefully this year, STRONGLIFE Functional Medicine can help put your mind at ease, so you can enjoy making memories, and all your traditions this holiday season. Here are 3 helpful tips for how to be successful with your health and weight loss goals through the holidays!

#1 Expectations, Expectations, Expectations

There is no arguing that unmet expectations when it comes to your health goals, lead to feelings of failure, defeat, and negative self-talk. For many people, this happens year after year during the holidays. That’s a lot of mental turmoil to go through. But, if you remember from our previous blog about keys to successful weight loss, creating realistic steps and expectations that you know are achievable, will leave you feeling accomplished!

So try sitting down, have a quiet moment with yourself and run through what your holiday season is going to look like. Maybe it’s just as busy as previous years, or possibly less busy given the current climate with COVID-19. Maybe this is a time where you want to cherish the moments and connections you get to have with some loved ones and friends, and enjoy the food that comes along with.  Whatever your holiday season looks like – that is OK. Lay it all out.

But then, what will be the most realistic expectations to set for yourself and your goals, based on what your holiday season looks like?  Is it possible to continue with the rate of weight loss you’ve been achieving, or maybe a slower rate is a better fit? Could this be a great opportunity to maintain your current successes and continue with the status quo through the holidays? Depending on your social commitments, maybe this is a perfect time to try intermittent fasting, or focus on self-care and exercise? 

After you run through those types of questions with yourself, remember, you get to define what success looks like and how you want to enjoy this holiday season! Call the shots with these expectations, and make it happen. Because you CAN!

#2 Plan, But Also Plan to be flexible!

How often during the holidays do things go according to plan? Often? Not often enough? Either way, you can almost guarantee something will go awry. Having a plan in place, and prioritizing what’s important to you certainly gives you control, and helps you stay aligned with your weight loss goals. But life is life, and the holidays are, well, the holidays.

So, try to create a plan for what is important for your goals this holiday season, but plan for being flexible with it as well. This might sound impossible, because how do you plan for being flexible? 

Easy, create your ideal plan, based on those expectations you set for yourself in #1 (meal planning, exercise, stress management, sleep, etc). That’s your MAX to achieve. Using exercise as an example this could look like “I am going to keep to my normal MWF & Sat workout schedule.”

Then, play with some hypotheticals based on what your schedule looks like. Such as work being busier and your hours might be longer, if helping a friend takes longer and you aren’t home for dinner, maybe stress is higher, or sleep is terrible, etc. What is going to be your MINIMUM you’d still be satisfied with achieving, or a back up plan just in case life happens? This might look like “If things come up with X, Y, & Z, I’d be okay with doing 3 out of 4 of my workouts, but add in a long walk with my dog on at least 1 other day.” 

As you can see, now there is a realistic expectation set for an exercise routine, but with some wiggle room and a game plan for if things come up! Viola, YOUR definition of what success will look like for you.

#3 Partner Up or Find Support

Lastly, partnering up and finding support! It’s hard to push through your goals completely alone, especially during a time of year where stress is higher, life is busier, but also maybe more lonely given the pandemic.  Think about sharing your intentions and goals with someone during the holidays. Maybe it’s your spouse, best friend, or someone who is also working on building a healthier lifestyle.

We often forget that our loved ones around us truly do want to help, but they can’t help if they aren’t aware of what we are doing and working on for ourselves. Use them as an accountability partner for eating dinner at grandma’s with all the goodies around, or if you’re alone this holiday season, maybe set up a zoom call to talk to them about the struggles you’re facing with healthy habits. Maybe sharing the fun, healthy meals you’re planning for can boost your confidence and feel encouraged to keep going with these healthy choices. Speaking to others about these things, could also be the inspiration they needed to plan for a healthier balance!

So as the year comes to an end, whatever your plans are for the holidays and your goals, all of us at STRONGLIFE Functional Medicine, truly want you to have a safe, healthy, and guilt-free time!

At STRONGLIFE Functional Medicine in Lithia, FL, Dr. Justin Scott can help you address any underlying issues, whether you realize they’re there or not, and improve your overall health.

“I hope that you found this as valuable as my patients have over the years. If you’re interested in a patient-centered process that takes into account all aspects that affect your health, then I would encourage to visit our website at www.stronglifefunctionalmedicine.com to see how we help our patients improve their health and to find if you are a good candidate for a Functional Medicine approach.

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