Most of us associate holidays with weight gain but I’m going to show you how to use holidays to meet your diet goals. Many women over fifty when deciding to lose weight make statements like “I’m going on a diet and I want to lose ten pounds in two weeks” or “I plan on going down a size by the end of the month.” The problem with these plans is that their time frames are not clearly defined. What day is the beginning of the week to start and what day ends the diet?
Instead of framing your intentions in that manner, using holidays to meet your diet goals is a better strategy since holiday dates are written in stone and will make you feel more accountable. Halloween is always October 31, April Fool’s is always April 1 and July 4th — well you get the idea. Even holidays like Labor Day or Thanksgiving land on an exact date for that year. And now more than ever we are also seeing all different kinds of unusual and fun holidays, such as National Dog Day, Grandparent’s Day, etc. which can also be used for holiday goal setting.
When setting a weight-loss goal, pick the holiday closest in time (two – three weeks away) and decide to lose two pounds by that date. That’s it. Only two pounds because even with the smallest effort anyone can lose two pounds. Always set yourself up for winning. With each small victory comes a feeling of self-satisfaction and worth. You might even surprise yourself and lose more than expected – even better!
follow along with me...
- Take about 2 pounds of anything (candy, flour, coffee) and tie it to your waist with a scarf. Wear it for an hour or two around your house. When you take the weight off I bet you’ll feel relieved to get that stuff off of you. This will give you a better sense of the kind of pressure a couple of pounds puts on your body, and how much better it could feel if you got the weight off.
- Keep It Simple: Eliminate 200 calories a day (that’s about four cookies, two slices of bread, one cocktail), make one meal during the day either a healthy salad or a non-cream based soup, and add 100 calories of exercising — march in place with knees high, take a brisk walk, go up and down some stairs, or follow along with one of my videos. If you’re motivated, cut out most of the simple carbs and step up your physical activity. No prepping, no planning — just a little thought.
- Stay hydrated. You don’t have to go crazy and drink a gallon a day, but it’s important to stay hydrated so your body doesn’t trick your mind into thinking you’re hungry when you’re actually thirsty.
- If you decide to give this method a shot, think about the holidays coming up. Here are some suggestions: October 4: National Golf Day ~ October 10: Columbus Day ~ October 12: Emergency Nurse’s Day ~ October 14: National Dessert Day ~ October 17: National Pasta Day ~ October 24: National Food Day, and October 31: Halloween!
Associating holidays, big or small, with weight-loss instead of weight-gain is definitely more productive. Feeling good in your own body isn’t just important when the holidays roll around, it’s important everyday. So don’t say you’ll lose 20 pounds by Thanksgiving or 40 pounds by Christmas. Use these smaller holidays to meet your diet goals and set yourself up for success!
This post covers my basic philosophy about diet & fitness and is a great read for motivation and tips:
15 FOOD & FITNESS RULES I FOLLOW