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The Calm Before the Serious Holiday Storm

Posted Nov 30 2012 9:54am

by Barbara Berkeley, MD

We are in the lull between Thanksgiving and the start of serious holiday partying.  Use this interval to get your weight back down below Scream.  Time, too, to make your plans for December.  Are you serious about wanting to avoid regain during this period?  Is your goal a stable weight on January 2nd?  If so, you had better start designing some behavioral rules and absolute cut-offs for the coming campaign.

Things to notice this week:

Holiday smells have returned, along with the holiday visuals that prompt us to celebrate with food.  Outside my supermarket, there are stacks of cinammon scented pine cones.  Candles that smell like vanilla, chocolate and mint are burning in every store.  Starbucks has got the caramel brulee latte and the peppermint mocha back on the menu.  It's possible to enjoy the smells for their olofactory character alone, so try to distinguish that pleasure from their connection with treats.  

The temperature is dropping (at least in the northern part of the US).  The donning of scarves, boots and hats triggers the comfort food urge.  Can you enjoy a mug of steaming hot soup or mint tea just as much as a bowl of mashed potatoes?  Try it.  Alot of these things have to do with habit.  Vow to try some new habits this year.

Thanksgiving may have thrown you off.  So, you ate a little more than you intended.  But you were sure it would come off right away.  Now...it's not!   Maintainers need to remind themselves that weight loss is not automatic and not easy.  If you want to get off the extra weight you put on, you've got to return to a number of consistent and tough days of calorie restriction.  Don't fool yourself into thinking that a couple of extra sessions on the treadmill will take care of it.  Forge ahead!  You can do it!

You are feeling more and more in the holiday mood.  All of the memories of past holidays, including all of the great foods you associate with this time, are forefront in your mind.  How about trying to divert that energy by spending more time on the charitable aspects of the season.  Do that thing for someone that you've put off and affirm yourself in a way that isn't related to the comfort of a cookie.

Remember, we're all in this together.  We'll talk again soon. 

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