Do You Have a Plan of Attack for the Holidays?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
For many of us, this time of year is full of temptations and distractions to get off track from your diet and exercise program.  You could easily choose to do some Christmas shopping instead of heading to the gym for a workout.  Or you might feel like the decadent buffet at all of those holiday parties is calling your name louder than usual.  The holidays can make it extra difficult to continue those healthy habits you’ve been working all year to establish.  How do you avoid the traps and stay strong?  The first thing you need is a plan of attack.  I’ve got mine- do you have yours?
Staying consistent with exercise is never a problem for me.  That’s my time to relieve stress and do something for myself, so I always make time for it no matter what.  My weakness is when it comes to food.  I love dessert.  If I could eat candy and cookies all day long I’d be very content.  So for me, the temptations start at Halloween and continue through Christmas (which includes two of my kids birthdays during that period- and birthday cake is one of my favorites.)   Instead of trying to have lots of willpower when I’m surrounded by goodies at home all day, I’ve decided to get rid of it.  This year, anytime we have extra candy, cookies, cake, etc. around the house, I ask my husband to take it to work.  So far, that strategy is working well. 
I also plan ahead.  If I know that I’ll be indulging at a party this weekend, I’ll try to limit my sweets and make healthy food choices throughout the week.  When I get to the party, I try not to go crazy.  I think it’s important to enjoy the foods I love without feeling guilty.  But that doesn’t mean I have to stuff myself, because that ends up leaving me feeling both physically and mentally yucky.  I also try to recognize my “trigger” foods, and stay away from those completely.  For instance, I love Tootsie Rolls and have trouble just eating a few.  Once I get started, it’s hard to stop, so I know that’s a food I should just totally avoid. 
Not sure how you’ll get through this holiday season?  Check out SparkPeople’s Holiday Survival Guide, as well as 10 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain.  If you do end up falling off track, try not to beat yourself up too much.  We’ve all been there!  All you can do is learn from your mistakes and move forward with the support of your SparkPeople friends!    
What’s your plan of attack?  Do you feel like you have the support you need to stay on track through the New Year?  

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


EVIE4NOW 6/18/2020
thanks Report
CD24912514 12/9/2019
thanks Report
FRAN0426 11/26/2019
I take it one holiday at a time, for Thanksgiving no problem as I had surgery late last week, and my appetite is not back, so won't be over-eating. Everything in moderation, along with eating a bit less when I know we will be going out or on a holiday is my usual plan Report
RAPUNZEL53 11/23/2019
Thanks Report
METAFUKARI 11/8/2019
My plan for the holidays is to get exercise and to eat sensibly. Simple~ Report
Thanks Report
I have aplan. Report
Thank you for the good information. Report
Planning can make a big difference. Report
Interesting Report
I bake the cookies at Christmas and give them to neighbors so they don't stay in my house! Plus I do weigh myself more often during the holidays and keep portioning my foods to keep on track!!!! Report
Good article Report
If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Thanks for the encouragement. The plan is to stay on track! So far doing ok. Report
I'm focusing on extra helping of vegetables, and walking whenever I can. I shall be with family and I'm making the Christmas Eve supper. I shall make it a tastey and healthy meal.
Nancy Report
Thank you for the information. I am trying portion control and NO SECONDS! I really need to figure my trigger foods. Report
My plan is moderation, and to keep at normal fitness routine. I will allow myself to indulge on the 'special days' but only those days. It's okay if it's just 'one day.' It become a problem when one day turns into two or three.... Report
Great post! My plans and thoughts exactly - Enjoy the Holidays with moderation! Report
Starting with a 5K Toys for Tots walk with my daughter, grand daughter, and great grand baby to be here in April. Their husbands will be with us. I am so very blessed to have my health and family.No seconds for me. Report
YEAH...I have a plan. Eat what I want in moderation and be prepared to PAY! Have a lovely Thanksgiving. have a wonderful day! xo MaryAnn Report
I have Thanksgiving planned to take some small raw veggies and low-fat dip and am going to fix my own pumpkin cheesecake for dessert or else some apple crisp. For Christmas it will probably be a similar plan. My one time I am not sure of is out Victorian Tea, but I think that I may eat before going and then won't get too much of the fattening stuff that is all they serve there. Or I will take some apple or something to have. Report
my plan is to treat the holidays like any other day. Workout as usual. There is a peice of fudge and a peice of peanut brittle with my name on it. But I will be ok. I hit the cardio hard and the strength training. Report
I plan on having a pc of pumpkin pie, but that's the only thing that I will be indulging in. Report
My plan of attack is to reward myself for not binge-eating so I can buy some new make-up for New Year's Eve (we have a party we're going to). So, for every week/weekend I make it w/o gorging myself and maintaining a weight 139 or lower, I earn $2. Then I'll have just enough to buy the products I've got my eye on. I didn't leave much room for mistakes, so it's do or die (lol)!

For the day/meal itself, I plan on starting with the lean protein of the turkey and a large side of low-cal veggies I'm making, along with smaller portions of favorite sides. Since dessert is my weak spot, I will have to really focus on just taking smaller portions so I can sample many different ones. I hope NOT to stuff myself sick at lunch, and then truly gauge my hunger for dinner and decide whether or not to eat again, or at least stick with just protein for the evening meal (leftovers). I'm hosting, so it's going to be a challenge to just not eat all day since I can't really leave, but the weather sounds decent enough I could suggest an outdoor walk or maybe get some Wii games going. But not until the Packers are done playing (LOL)! Report
I love your idea for sending the treats (my downfall, esp. if it's chocolate!) to work w/hubby! THAT is a good option for me! Thanks! :D Report
I will be visiting family and friends running from this house to that house, excercising my hand to my face! Yes, I will make time to exercise by walking the malls and shopping. My dad used to have us walk in the park after our Sunday meal and we keep that tradition going today! Happy Thanksgiving!

I plan to attack the pies !! LOL !!! I eat pie maybe 2-3 times a year. So, I'm not depriving myself tomorrow. I'm going to enjoy myself, but still be mindful of the portion. Report
Since this is my 1st Thanksgiving as a vegan, I'm bringing over my own dishes. I've made a sweet potato lentil chili and I'll also be making a green bean dish since I've always been the one to bring the traditional green bean casserole. We will be visiting our parents' homes, then heading out to the car show or a movie for the evening.

I am so glad to finally be at the point where I'm no longer tempted by certain foods, especially desserts. It makes getting past the holidays so much easier. Report
My good intentions always fly out the window when I'm actually faced with the holiday foods, particularl the desserts! I weigh about 20lbs more this year than I did last, but I can still SQUEEZE into the jeans I wore last Thanksgiving. I'm going to wear the same jeans this year-hopefully that will serve as a reminder that I'm not happy with my weight right now.
Good luck to everyone, whatever your plan, and have a blessed holiday.
Martha Report
Thanksgiving Day is easy since I will be so busy preparing dinner and entertaining, it is the day after that always so difficult; all of those left overs. My plan is to give as much food to my guests as possible to take home (I bought extra containers) and to cut back on some of the volume. The menu won't change but the amounts will. Good luck everyone and Happy Thanksgiving! Report
I plan to have a green smoothie or salad before every holiday meal. I will walk/jog a virtual 5k once a week while exercising at least 10 minutes ever day. I will take 1/2 portions and only go masck for seconds after 20 minutes. In between social events I will eat raw vegan.. Report
Great blog post, and the 10 Tips article is awesome. I am going to be budgeting my calories so I can indulge in the foods I really enjoy eating, and not allowing myself to munch just because it's there.

It has also been really freeing for me to practice the art of "saving" myself for the things I really really love. It makes it easier to say no to relatives because I care too much about what I'd really like to eat, so I don't get caught in the guilt of not eating something someone has made for the party. Report
I have alot of dinners to go to. So I plan on picking the things that I really like. That doesn't mean that I will eat alot of the food. But that should mean that I will enjoy what I eating. Not just eating to be eating :) We always have salad that I can eat that will fill me up. I'm also luckly because I don't eat alot of deserts. So I can have 1 drink if I so chose. I hope that this plan will work for me this year !!!
Good luck to everyone this hoilday season !!!!!! Report
I plan to enjoy myself to a certain extent, but don't feel I have to overdue it, but I do plan to indulge in some desert a little bit because otherwise I will end up over eating on the bad stuff if I don't. They say that even with the lifestyle change, you have to enjoy yourself once in a while, but then exercise is always a key factor! You want to maybe take a short walk after your Thanksgiving meal so you don't feel like you have gained 30 lbs! I wish everyone the best keeping up with their SP goals! The article is so true when they say, "Don't beat yourself up for your mistakes." Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Report
I am planning to measure my turkey to 3 oz., then eyeball the rest of the stuff and avoid what I can. My husband does most of the cooking all the time and gets upset if I don't eat or at least try what he makes so I'll have a little of each thing. I'll be busy cleaning up after the grandkids and keeping them out of trouble, so I expect to burn anything extra! Report
My plan is the same every year. I fill up on raw veggies and water, eat my 4 oz. of turkey breast with a small amount of sides and one reasonable piece of pie. I am no longer in the habit of gorging and just savor each bite and enjoy time with my family. I don't find I gain weight at holiday dinners. Plus, after dinner we will all dance and play on the wii which helps to burn off some of those calories! Report
I just eat my usual portions, and a little dessert if i am hungry. Sometimes 1 bite is enough. I don't like to feel stuffed.I send a meal to an older friend who prefers to stay home. Usually there is not much left over, but my husband is happy to eat it if there is.I send any candy to work with him for the guys. Report
Well this is a little easier for me because I am single but still I understand. This is my plan:
I am lucky that I hate feeling stuffed and have picked up really good habits along the diet lane.
I am vegetarian so I basically stick to sides. I love pumpkin pie minus whip cream no crust. still I eat a normal plate with a little of everything. I do not drink alcohol so that helps. I do love eggnog so I have it and be done with it. The next day is back to normal and I even scope out which excercise classes will be going on on thanksgiving and next day! Report
We're going to a wonderful restaurant. I'll eat a meal, but there won't be leftovers, and I'm going to thoroughly enjoy dining with family and eating delicious food. Although I love to cook, I've done enough holiday meals that I don't miss that at all these days. Report
Thanksgiving Day is not so bad. It is the evening before while preparing and the leftovers on Friday. These are the times I am going to need a good plan. Report
my plan is to eat bruch the thanksgiving dinner will be lunch which most of it is not a big deal to me then dessert will be my third meal that's the hard one but I figure I limit it to the calories I would normally eat for a meal I can enjoy with minimal damage. Report
I am going with the plan I had last year. Load up on the healthy lean turkey and fresh veggies and fruit this Thanksgiving and take a small (a few bites only) of the yummy side dishes.

Desserts and bread are my weaknesses and will be pushing for them to leave the house. I usually take the extra sweets to work but I am a teacher and that doesn't work well for this Thanksgiving. However, I just decided that I will take the extra goodies to my MIL's on Friday when we drop our children off to spend the night with her. Whatever is not consumed by them will be there for Sunday's family lunch and far away from me. :)

Another key thing I have found is blogging about my desires to eat when I am not hungry. I did that a couple of times in a situation where I was around food and it helped me stay focused. I love having a smartphone where when I go to my next holiday party I will log away my food but also my thoughts about wanting to eat. Report
I plan on eating what I want, but only what will fit on my seconds. I will do the same with dessert. Report
I plan on eating healthfully. I do enjoy pumpkin pie, so I will have a small slice. Report
I'm following "THE BECK DIET SOLUTION" as our Team has a plan, so I know that I won't overeat more than 15% of a normal day's food. Report
We are going to a buffet for Thanksgiving & I'll just have lots of protein & avoid the sugars/starches. As they say "I know the drill." Report
I'm going to pig out! One day of feasting isn't going to hurt. Report
I avoid as many holiday parties as possible. Eat beforehand. Exercise the usual amount (a lot). Sometimes I make rules about what I will allow myself to eat (dry salad, raw veggies and plain protein ONLY).

Any gifts of chocolate or cookies either go straight in the garbage or in the break room at work.

It sounds draconian, but chocolate and traditional holiday foods are my least favourite foods ever, it is really easy to pass up. Report
I LOVE desserts! I am taste oriented and for me as long as I have a little nibble and no more I'm good. So many good things to try! Report