Only you can successfully manage your eating and activity behaviors during the holidays. Take personal responsibility and focus on health and happiness during this time of year. It is easy to fall victim to all the excessive food and alcohol this time of year which can easily lead to a substantial weight gain.
Here are some tips for being assertive during the holidays. First of all, ask for what you need or want. Don’t assume those around know what you want or need. For example, you may ask for non-food gifts this year if you have some people who regularly give gifts of cookies and other baked goods. Another example would be when asked to bring food to a party, let the hosts know you will bring vegetables or a fruit dish. Second, say no to unreasonable demands of others on your time. Time pressures can cause a lot of stress, and stress can lead to overeating. Third, anticipate the special occasion and the people present. How are you going to deal with them? When they offer you food, what will be your response? Fourth, have your plan of action firmly in your mind. Know what and when you are going to eat the day of the event. Preplan your food intake.
Be assertive with yourself as well. Have phrases ready:
- “I can do it”
- “I will focus on family and the true meaning of the holiday.”
- “I may want it, but I do not need it.”
Remember to also use exercise and relaxation to deal with the stress. Fifteen minutes daily of either stretching and/or exercise will help tremendously with the holidays. Have plenty of non-food rewards ready such as music, flowers, a good book or movie.
Enjoy the holidays. You can get through them happy and in good health!