The best parts of being able to spend time with friends and family is great company and delicious food. So naturally you’d expect a weight-loss plan to dampen your celebrations. We think of words like “deprivation” and “restrictions” and that can take all the fun out of the festivities. But watching what you eat doesn’t have to rob you of the treats at your office party, your neighbourhood get-togethers and your special family meals.
“Obviously social situations can be challenging when you’re following a weight-loss program — and traditional diets would have you skipping most of the foods we enjoy during the holidays,” says Kevin O’Brien, general manager of WW Canada (formerly Weight Watchers Canada).
“Social situations are hard to navigate because we can’t select items off a menu and control what’s served. But the myWW program makes it much easier because there are no restricted foods. Nothing is ‘off the menu.’ Look at the big picture — how you’re eating over the week, for example — rather than isolating one meal or event. It fits into members’ lifestyles, which is why their success on the program is high,” O’Brien adds.
“Our members have told us that success comes when WW fits into their lifestyle and not the other way around. And that includes during social situations, too. They love that with some planning, they can still enjoy parties, treats, and the odd glass (or two) of wine.”
Here are a few tips and ideas for managing your holiday celebrations from WW Canada content marketing manager Camille Llosa:
1. Plan for it. Decide how many SmartPoints® you want to spend and decide what you’re most looking forward to so you can plan to eat, then be a little pickier about the other foods you select.
2. Do a little mental rehearsal. Picture yourself making healthy choices and it will help you stick to your plan when you’re at the party.
3. Don’t starve yourself the day of the party. “Many people believe if they starve all day, they can eat what they want. But it’s a bad idea, because you’ll be way too hungry and will overindulge, making all sorts of poor choices.” Llosa compares it to going into the grocery store when you’re hungry and stocking up on junk food, or dining out and eating all the bread before your meal. “Eat your regular meals so you don’t overindulge and make less healthy decisions.”
4. Make a plan. “If you know you’ll eat aunt Mary’s pie, then plan to skip the chips.” Having a plan will help you stay on track.
5. Serve yourself if possible. “That way you’re in control of what goes on your plate. And use a smaller plate, because you’ll tend to put less on the plate.”
6. Be nice to yourself. “Don’t beat yourself up if you overindulge. Instead, plan your next meal and make it a healthy one.”
So enjoy your social gatherings. With a little planning, it’s easy to keep your weight loss on track. And remember this: WW members tend to lose more weight (about 15 per cent more) when they do it together versus alone. Which is why turning your weight loss program into a social opportunity is a great idea!