When it comes to healthy eating and maintaining weight loss, the holiday season can be the most challenging time of year for many people. Improve your chances of success by identifying specific situations that you find most challenging. Is it the annual office party; the abundance of sweets and treats in every direction? By planning now and incorporating hypnosis into your strategy, you can enjoy the holidays and easily maintain your weight into the New Year.
School has started and Halloween is just around the corner. The Holiday Season is upon us. It seems like this is the time of year when we are most vulnerable to excess food availability and increased social gatherings. This is the perfect time to plan a strategy that will allow you to enjoy the holiday season without gaining a pound! It’s all about planning; pre-paving the road that will take you into and out of the holiday season in style. It’s great if you can actually lose weight during the holidays, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you can focus on maintaining your current weight into the New Year, you’ll be ahead of the curve and will have created a strong foundation of health and fitness for 2013!
Hypnosis is all about habit change, and/or habit reinforcement. The idea is to make a plan and decide ahead of time how you want to handle specific circumstances in regard to holiday eating. Once you have a plan you can reinforce that desired behavior using hypnosis. Using hypnosis is a great way to maintain your focus on healthy eating in all situations by remaining mindful and focused on your long-term priorities. The key is to make that plan now for future success!
Begin with self-reflection. Identify the major reasons you find it difficult to maintain your current weight during the holiday season. Some of the more common mind-sets that contribute to holiday weight gain include the following. How many of these apply to you?
- The end of the year is here! This is a throwback from our years in school. It’s winter break, the end of the year. We’ve worked hard and want to reward ourselves with too much rest, too many parties, good food and alcohol! We justify taking a break from the gym, resolving to “get back to normal” after the New Year.
The good news is that you are correct, you have worked hard and you do deserve a reward. At Intuitive Hypnosis in Portland, Oregon, I help my clients identify other beneficial means of rewarding themselves, including reinforcing the progress they’ve made throughout the entire year. For example, reward yourself now by going out and purchasing a new exercise outfit or perhaps something to wear for New Year’s Eve.
- Giving and receiving food as presents. In this day and age, everyone has about everything they could possibly need or want. That leaves consumables as a favorite category for gift giving; consumables in the form of hams, pastries, homemade cookies, fudge, popcorn balls, wine, gift certificates to fancy restaurants, you name it.
First of all, don’t be guilty of adding to the weight of your loved ones by giving them these guilty pleasures for the holidays. Instead, consider other non-edible consumables such as movie tickets, gift certificates for book stores, music, electronics, magazine subscriptions, and so on. Decide right now, what you’ll do with any food items that come to you as gifts and use hypnosis to help you keep your resolve. Put them in the freezer, give them to someone who is not concerned with the consequences of gaining weight, throw them away if need be, take them to a party and let someone else eat them! Better yet, let your loved ones know that you are very committed to maintaining your healthy life style during the holiday season and year round.
- Too dependent on going to the gym or “having” to stick to a specific routine. I speak from experience when I say that I am addicted to my particular routine. I love going to the gym at the same time every day, and I love doing the same weekly routine repeatedly. During the holidays, you may have company, or you may be out-of-town and don’t have access to your “usual” exercise environment or regimen. That doesn’t mean you can’t exercise!
During the holidays, be flexible, allow yourself to do something out of the ordinary. Focus on exercises you can do away from home, away from your typical routine. Starting right now, create some back-up resources that you can use anytime, anywhere and use hypnosis to help you stay on track. Take a look at YouTube for something new to do in a pinch. Purchase some exercise bands and have a pre-planned routine ready for those spontaneous moments. There are many exercises you can do on your own, and did you know that 3 sessions of 10 minutes each is just as effective as a full 30-minute workout! And remember, if all else fails, take a brisk walk!
- Failure to anticipate, lack of planning and keeping an eye on the goal. Even with the best of intentions, the healthiest and most fit people have a hard time during the holidays. By starting now, planning ahead, anticipating the situations that challenge you most, you can have a great time during the holidays and not gain weight.
With hypnosis, I am able to help my clients identify potential pitfalls and reinforce the desired behaviors long before that first holiday party invitation arrives. Planning and preparing is essential. Set your goals and get them strongly embedded in your subconscious mind with the use of hypnosis. Create a strategy that works for you! Make sure you have healthy nutritious foods on hand, remember to eat before attending social gatherings, and enjoy the holiday season one day at a time!
Other helpful strategies for the holidays and year ’round
- Never go to a party on an empty stomach. Eat a filling snack with plenty of protein before you leave the house, and carry some string cheese with you for later.
- Be accountable to yourself for what you eat. Journal, journal, journal. Give yourself the opportunity to be truly impressed with how well you can do!
- If you are serving desserts or cookies, take them out only for a short designated time, and then put them (or throw them) away. Or, wrap them up and send them out the door with your guests!
- For every beer or glass of wine you have, enjoy a class of water or sparkling soda. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions along with your standards.
- Refrain from using your successful exercise routine as an excuse to overeat. Most of us over-estimate how many calories we actually burn while working out.
- Remember, it’s never too late to start your day over. Don’t give up if you happen to over indulge momentarily. Go listen to your hypnosis recording and get back on track!
- Maintain a healthy regimen of three meals and two snacks each day, with plenty of protein in each of those.
- Drink plenty of water all throughout the day.
- Remember, the focus on getting together with friends and loved ones is about the human interaction, telling stories, sharing good times. The focus is not about the food.
- Eat consciously. Remain mindful of where you are, what your goals are, and enjoy eating slowly, deliberately, and with pleasure.
Wherever you go for the holidays keep your long-term goals in mind. By planning now and using hypnosis to stay on track, you’ll find it easy to maintain your resolve and stay conscious and focused on the fun of the holiday season, guilt free!