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Holiday Season and Weight Management: 5 Challenges to Stay Zen


The holiday season is a long-awaited time of the year; for its warm atmosphere & family reunions / friends around a good meal. This festive and unifying time can bring a lot of stress to some people, including those who are in a process of losing weight or maintaining their weight stable.

If you feel targeted; here are different situations that can bring stress and challenges to help you see these situations with a positive eye in order to stay zen instead of anxious.

Situation 1 - The famous buffet

Tonight is the Christmas buffet; the management of your weight worries you. You know that you often ingest an excess of food during this type of dinner, so you significantly reduce your food intake during the day to be able to "spoil you".

Consequence: You risk running out of energy, possibly being irritable and having a headache during the day. You may take less time to enjoy the food at the buffet and eat excessively.

Challenge: Aim for a full lunch and dinner during your day and perhaps even a snack before a late meal to eat moderately at dinner.

Situation 2 - The restriction of "bad foods"

You choose the least caloric foods in the buffet to aim for reduced energy intake.

Consequence: This can lead to inner frustration at not being able to taste some foods that look delicious to you and can lead to further overconsumption.

Challenge: Choose only the foods/dishes that make you feel better; whether it is the most '' healthy '' or the least '' healthy ''. Enjoy them. Take the time to chat with your family or friends and to question yourself through your mouthfuls if the feeling of hunger is still present. When the food becomes less tasty or if you imagine that someone would steal your plate and that you would not mind; then you are no longer hungry.

Situation 3 - Lack of physical activity

You spend the next 4 days with your parents who live in the region. You do not particularly like going to the gym, but knowing that you will not be able to go to worries you, since you think it could be a significant obstacle in your calorie loss process which helps you lose weight.

Consequence: This unnecessary stress could have a negative impact on your relationships with your family members. Then, if you see physical activity practiced as only a way to lose calories and weight, you are less likely to do this activity in the long run and enjoy all the other benefits that physical activity has to offer: reduction of stress, general well-being, improves sleep, improves general health (glycemic control, blood pressure, cholesterol ...)

Challenge: Enjoy these family moments by including sports activities and / or active games. Ideas: Skating, ice hockey, sliding, cross-country or alpine skiing, snowshoeing / walking in the woods, making a fort, playing a snowball fight ... In addition to losing a few calories, you'll have the chance to have a great time as a family, enjoy the pleasures of winter and maybe even discover a new passion that will benefit your health in the long run.

Situation 4 - The dessert

An aunt insists that you taste her new dessert. You are no longer hungry and do not really want to taste it. You do not want to be rude; so you accept.

Consequence: The dessert will be much less enjoyable than if you had tasted it at a time when you would have really been hungry. You risk eating beyond your needs.

Challenge: If this situation arises, gently refuse by explaining that you are simply no longer hungry. You can suggest bringing a piece of dessert home; the person will surely be very happy to prepare you a small dish.

Situation 5 - Culpability

This same aunt offered you to taste her home made sugar cream. You have not really paid attention to your hunger signals and satiety. After ingesting the food (which was my delicious faith ...) you feel guilty!

Consequence: Feeling guilty is useless and can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.

Challenge: Don’t be too rigid with yourself. It's not a few extra calories that will make you take 10lbs. Remember to return to a normal balanced diet and an active lifestyle as soon as possible if small excesses have been made.

To conclude, weight management is multifactorial. It may be more difficult for some people to achieve a desired weight. Adopting better lifestyle habits is one of the modifiable factors of weight; but it can be difficult or very difficult to make changes. The holiday season is a small part of the year but listening to your appetite is the key, even in a moment of plenty. If you think that way, even in holiday times, you will find that your weight loss or weight maintenance will be much easier and enjoyable. And we are not talking here of depriving ourselves, but of enjoying eating while listening to our body.

While you want to be better equipped before the holidays or at any time of the year, Nutritionists at Équipe Nutrition are available to support you. I wish you happy holidays! Have a lot of fun, rest a little, and above all, spend beautiful moments with your loved ones.

Contact our Nutritionists - Dietitians, it is the first step towards achieving your goals !

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