During the holidays temptations seem even more powerful. The main reason is that this time of year seems like a fantasy and not real. Tricking your brain into thinking you can eat that entire pie as you clean up and that it won’t affect anything since it’s just the holidays and it’s special, and you’re standing – it’s pretty easy.
But you know, as well as most people know, we can eat pumpkin pie all year long now. The holidays aren’t imbibed with any sort of special magic that cancels out calories. However, learning strategies that increase your willpower will help.
Here are six willpower strategies to follow to avoid holiday temptations and weight gain:
Set Goals and Understand the Consequences
First, set goals for your holidays and how you want everything to look in the end when it’s over. Then, understand the consequences of not sticking to your goals and the results of sticking to them. If you spell it out, it’s hard to fail because you’re mindful of the possibilities.
Bake Less Treats
If you don’t know it’s there, or you don’t have easy access to it, you simply create fewer opportunities to give in to your temptations. If possible, let others do all the baking, half the recipes, and use healthier ingredients.
Try the Postponement Method
The one-time procrastinating can actually benefit you. For example, if you want that piece of cake, but you just ate dinner, tell yourself you’ll wait an hour to see if you still really want it. Often, you’ll end up forgetting about it completely. The main thing is to accept that even if you want something, you don’t have to have it today. You can wait.
Don’t Restrict, Reduce
Sometimes the best way to avoid temptations is to give in to some. First, however, you want to be sure you control the portion size. For example, only have a half or one serving and no more. The idea is that restriction can make the craving harder to fight as you start to feel overwhelmed that you may never get to experience it again.
Check Your Thirst
Many people feel hungry when they are really thirsty. We’ve become good at ignoring our need for fluid. If you feel thirsty, it’s too late. You are already dehydrated. Instead of waiting for thirst, get a large water bottle with your minimum daily allowance inside and drink that before you keep eating.
Move Around and Get Distracted
When temptation presents itself, get up and go for a walk or do something to distract yourself. Play a game or do something that keeps your hands busy. It’s hard to eat greasy food if you’re knitting or playing ball with the kids. Tell yourself you’re going for a fast ten-minute walk, and if you still want that thing, you’ll have it.
Avoiding holiday temptation is really the same as every other time of the year. Remember, today is not the only day you have to do things. You can do something today and then something again tomorrow or the next day. It’s not really now or never when it comes to food.