Weight Watchers, now known as Wellness that Works, is a lifestyle – not a diet. Because it's a lifestyle, we have to plan for year-round success, even during the holidays! When everyone around you is overeating, feeling bloated, and complaining about their weight gain, you'll be smiling while enjoying just the right amount of delicious food because you know how many points to eat. You'll be much happier as the new year rolls around if you stay on track.
How to Stay on Track with Weight Watchers During the Holidays
Let's talk about staying on track. What does that mean to you? To me, it means staying within my points – even when the delicious dessert trays are being passed around. Think about where you want to be in six months with your weight loss goals. Is eating that extra brownie going to get you there? Maybe you can dip into your Weeklies, maybe not, but be conscious of what you're eating (and drinking).
Healthy Eating During the Holidays
First understand that every occasion, party, or get together is not an excuse to “cheat”. Because WW is a lifestyle, there is no real cheating, but staying on track can be difficult during the holidays when everyone is shoving food in your face. Just because you are there doesn't mean you have to go over your points for the day… but you do have weeklies! So use those if you need to. Eat but don't overeat, drink but balance it with water. Be conscious of what you are eating and how much. Enjoy yourself and the quality time you get to spend with loved ones.
What if I don't know the point count?
If you aren't sure what the point count for a food would be, do your best to guess if you can check the app. Unless it's the main course and you don't have any other options, then eat a normal amount while drinking extra water so you will be full for a longer period of time. Refer to your zero point food list and grab snacks that are high in protein when possible.
Keep your goals in mind with every bite. It takes 14 days to make or break a habit. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year's is just long enough to create a bad habit or solidify a good one. Keep your goals in mind they will get you through the rough times, the holidays, a bad week, or whatever. Lean on your Facebook Groups and friends. Let them know your struggles get it out. Talking about what I am struggling with helps me to get through it easier. Setting and seeing your goals will help you to stay focused on your end result. We all have a target weight we want to achieve, the end result is a happier, healthier you.
Another school of thought is to not go into the holidays thinking you have to keep losing weight. Go into them focused on maintaining the weight you have already lost. This is a more realistic goal and one that is a lot easier to achieve. You don't want to set yourself up for failure and lose what you have established so far, instead maintain your accomplishments and focus on enjoying the moments.
Alcohol, Wine, and Weight Watchers
With Weight Watchers you can have that Strawberry ‘Rita or the wine you love to have before bed. That being said, if and when you decide to drink, drink responsibly. I know you have heard it all before, so instead of beating a dead horse (insert dead horse here) allow me to explain what I mean by responsible drinking. No one ever explains they just say do it. Responsible drinking to keep you on track: make sure for every glass of wine, beer, or liquor you consume, you also drink a glass of water. Every 8oz of alcohol should be followed by 8oz of water. This is threefold; you drink less, you allow time between drinks, and you can still socialize without the guilt. Don't forget to count your points! Don't know the points of your favorite drink? I have you covered. I wrote a post to help keep you on track and able to have a little. I even created a few Low Point Drinks so you can have an idea of how to make the points lower and still enjoy the evening.
Now that we have mentioned water let talk about it. Water helps us eat fewer calories, about 200 calories less per day, have a lower occurrence of long term weight gain, lose weight slightly faster but keep it off longer. We were always taught water is essential to stay alive but it is also paramount to losing weight and keeping it off. Water flushes toxins from our bodies which is essential during fat metabolism.
Eat! We have to fuel our bodies. Keep track of your points, and you'll stay on track. The Weight Watchers app makes it so convenient to track every bite, so take advantage of it. Snacking on 0 point snacks before going to a relative's house or a party will curb your cravings and help you to feel full faster than if you go on an empty stomach.
Stay focused! If you are attending meetings, keep going to them. Every single week, don't miss a weigh-in! Eat normal portions of food, don't sample everything, be picky. Visit the veggie trays, these are wonderful snack foods and are usually at every event. Planning helps also, plan when you are going to the party and eat beforehand. Plan how many drinks you will have before you go. Exercise restraint instead of drinking “just one more”. Discipline is essential during this time to make it through the holidays. You've got this! Just stay focused and keep counting.
I met a wonderful Youtuber named Miranda who loves myWW and gives great recipes and advice. Here are some of her ways to stay on track during the holidays. Remember together we will achieve our goals. Never Give Up!
Track or Don't Track
Whichever works best for you. The holidays are a tough time to try to keep track of every single bite you eat. Make the decision now to either track every point and if that is what you need to mentally and physically accomplish your goals then, by all means, stick to it and track but for those who feel that turning off the WW app during the holidays is a less stressful approach the rest of this post and accompanying video is for you 🙂
Don't let others influence your decision on whether to track points or not. Make the decision based on what you know about you and how you handle the holidays. We are all different so if you choose not to track do not look at others who are tracking and feel bad because you are not. There are some people who track all of their macros. calories, points, sugar intake, etc. if you are not one of those people it is ok the wonderful thing about myWW is you can modify the eating plan to fit your lifestyle as an individual.
You know what a serving size is so trusting yourself to eat smaller portions and try a it of everything so you don't feel deprived. Remember this is a lifestyle not a diet. You choose what you eat and when and nothing is off-limits. Moderation and portion control are a few of the keys to success.
Desserts and sweets, in general, are my Achilles heel. we all need accountability partners during this time. My wife is my partner in many ways. The attached video Miranda “says she talks to her husband about it. They share a dessert and then he helps to keep her mindful of eating more desserts. He does not forbid her in any way from having a second dessert he just asks questions like “Are you sure you want another dessert?” If the answer is yes then hey have another if the answer is “no I am just eating because I am bored” then abstain and enjoy the rest of the party or occasion. Accountability partners can make a huge difference in your success through the holidays.
If you don't have a partner with you at this particular event you can still stay focused by enjoying a smaller portion of the food in questions and truly enjoy it. Take time to savor each bite instead of inhaling it which is what I have a tendency to do. when you are finished asl yourself “Was that enough to satisfy my sweet tooth?” If you decide to have more don't feel guilty about it.
Don't Feel Guilty
This is a time to enjoy your family and friends not to feel guilty about what you ate. One day will not throw off your weight loss journey. Enjoy your day, eat sensibly and never give up. In order to make this a lifestyle, I as well as Miranda have put into practice eating without tracking points over the holidays. I don't think anyone is going to track all of their foods every single day for the rest of their lives. So the holidays are a great time to practice being sensible and learning what portions sizes look like and eating smaller portions of the delicious foods and desserts. Miranda mentions something I thought was very profound she says “You are not eating these foods every single day so indulge a little that is what this time of the year is for” Just don't feel guilty about it. Go into the day knowing you are going to eat sensibly but you may indulge without guilt. Tell yourself you are going to keep doing what you have been doing before the holiday and you trust yourself and your plan.
Get up and move after you eat. When we eat more than we usually eat at a meal we tend to feel sluggish. During this time is when eating because I am bored happens. My brain works against me and says well you already ate the apple pie you might as well try the pumpkin and pecan pie, oh, and look there is some dirt cake over there you should sample that too. When my brain gets into this mode I go for a walk. Moving helps you to do something else besides bored eating. A walk after dinner also helps make you feel more energetic, you get your blood flowing and your brain stimulated and focused on something else. I love walking with my wife we talk about a plethora of things and share ideas that we don't seem to have time to talk about during the day. It is a bonding experience as well.
When you dress up an feel confident about yourself you tend to eat less. This is the mental side of the holidays. Do your hair and make-up, Wear clothes that make you feel amazing. When you have on sweat pants vs nice dress pants or a dress you feel different. when you are dressed up you don't feel the urge to have the second slice of pizza or the 4th helping of pie. I know it is an odd tip but as Miranda says in her video when you feel really good and confident about yourself consciously you won't feel the urgency to overindulge.
Remember, these are the holidays! Enjoy them! Have fun, stay focused and Never, ever give up!