I’ve been helping people lose weight for more than 20 years. In all of that time I have seen some weight loss mistakes being repeated over and over. One mistake in particular is failing to make a plan.
There are known threats to diets. Some women have a monthly threat that their lack of planning sets their diets back a few days every time around “that time of the month.” Then there are the seasonal threats and the holiday threats that are equally predictable but for which too many dieters fail to make a plan.
Easter is coming. It’s a threat and I’ve already heard dieters say, “I’ll be fine. I’ll just be careful.”
This isn’t a good plan. It’s not a plan at all. Planning isn’t difficult and the results are worth the time and effort. Rather than opening your eyes on Monday morning feeling bloated and full of regret, a little planning can turn that around. Instead of worrying about whether you’ll be able to get your control back, you can celebrate your Easter success.
Be prepared for your Easter gathering. This is not the day for leggings and a long tunic top or sweat pants. Wear something that’s snug around the waist, not stretchy. Eat some fruit and vegetables before you go. Think of your stomach as a balloon 3/4 full of air. An empty belly (totally deflated balloon) makes it harder to practice flexible restraint.
Strategies to help you make your Easter eating plan
1. Be very choosy about Easter candy.
- Plan your candy indulgence and stick to your plan.
- Set either a limit on the number of pieces or a calorie limit.
- Stick to it by choosing the very most delicious candies available and savor them.
- Eat guilt free because guilt takes away your power and makes you feel weak instead of powerful
2. If you will be in a situation where tension runs high with family members find ways to physically or mentally remove yourself.
- Take a walk if you can and make it a long one.
- Do your best to smile and let the snarky comments and bad behavior of family members leave you unaffected.
- Tell yourself, “this is temporary; it shall pass and what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger!”
3. When faced with the meal and the hors d’oeuvres pick carefully.
- Don’t bother with the snacks and tidbits that are available all the time such as chips and crackers.
- What are the specials foods served at Easter that you love? Have those in limited portions.
4. Avoid alcohol altogether or mix wine with sparkling water for a spritzer.
- Alcohol wastes calories that you may enjoy more from food.
- Alcohol reduces your inhibitions and may make it harder to stick to your eating plan.
- It intensifies tension and can lower ability to tolerate family dynamics.
5. Move, move move!
- Help with the preparation, serving and cleanup as much as you can.
- If your help is unwanted don’t plant yourself in a chair until it’s time to eat.
- Maybe that would be a good time to take that walk.
6. Practice, practice, practice these tips by creating images in your head and watching yourself successfully perform the actions you will do to stay on track.
Things don’t always work out as planned. Your best shot of sticking to your plan is making it as specific and detailed as possible. Then review it in your head over and over and over. The more familiar you are with your plan the greater the chances it will become a reality.
If your best laid plans go awry, you didn’t fail, you just need to adjust your plan so that it works the way you want it to work next time. Don’t beat yourself up or start giving yourself negative self-talk, instead write the word “Easter” on a piece of toilet paper, flush it, and go on with your program as though Easter never happened. A little weight gain is not a “setback” or a “roadblock,” it’s just a detour.