Beating the Holiday Bulge

A helpful technique to deal with high-calorie holiday festivities and stay on track with your weight goals.

The holiday season can be difficult for those looking to reduce in size or prevent holiday weight gain. Let's not forget the holidays are an emotional time. The emotions may not always be joyful, and we may be tempted to eat our feelings.

There are so many indulgences, opportunities to be tempted by high-calorie decadences, or splurge on ourselves. When I know I have a party, get-together, happy hour, or any other calorie splurge coming up, I like to plan ahead.

One of my favorite techniques is to "Bank Calories." This technique is helpful when you know you will need extra calories later, so you eat fewer calories now. It is beneficial to have a calorie budget for the week. Using this "budget," you will deduct what you think you will need for your upcoming event and reduce your calories ahead of time.

For example, you plan to go to dinner with friends in a few days; you know the restaurant has your favorite dish with too many calories, even if you only eat half. You want it anyway.

To eat half of that dish and have a glass of wine or two, you will need an extra 1000 calories. Start banking those calories now. Today eat 200–300 calories less than you usually would. Tomorrow, you will want to do the same.

On the day of your dinner, you conserve the rest of what you need and eat minimally, maybe only having a cup of brothy soup, because you know you will have a fabulous meal that night.

The trick is to stick to your "only eat half" plan, don't overeat, and you will be in great shape to stay within your weight range. Banking Calories, I have found this to be an exceptionally effective tool.