I lost a good amount of weight this past year from eliminating sugar & processed foods and reducing most carbs. The only way I could do it was by totally eliminating those things completely from my diet. Over Thanksgiving I decided to let myself eat some different desserts and breads and I immediately gained 10 lbs in like a week! I also have thyroid issues, which might contribute to how fast I gain and how hard it is to lose. I am totally addicted to sugar, so I feel like an addict that was given a drug, and I just cannot get clean from it again. I've tried about 5 times since then to start again eating the way I know I need to in order to be healthy, but I just keep failing. I am just dreading Christmas because of all the food that is going to surround me. I definitely have pressure from family to eat the food they make, so that doesn't help. But, when I was "clean" and hadn't been eating sugar for such a long time, I didn't have the cravings and was able to just say no. I can't seem to get to that place again. Anyone else have such difficulty with food like this? What do you do over the holidays? Should I just say forget about it and I'll think about it after Christmas when I go back to normal life? I feel like a loser saying that because I probably will gain another 5 lbs at least and then I'll have even more to lose. I wish I would have never messed up my food habits over Tday so I'm angry at myself.
Problem with weight management over holidays?
In the mean time, I suggest trying to make ahead as many clean meals as possible for when things get crazy. I think McKenna Gordon, one of the ladies who runs the weight-loss retreat has a website and I believe there are some good recipes. She also has a book of holiday recipes that are clean-eating-friendly. I know she just posted a smoothie recipe on her Facebook page, and I have seen some of her stuff on Pinterest. Sorry I can't dig up links right now, but if you're interested, I can dig them up later.
Hi elephante! Oftentimes, we gain weight during the holidays because the lack of light in winter causes our mood levels to become depressed. We then reach for carbs to give us a quick jolt of energy and that free, floating sugar high feeling. The added stress inherent in the holiday season just serves to aggravate this process. Here is a recent post from my blog that I think will be helpful for you:
With holiday season in full swing, now is a wonderful time to gather with loved ones, cook (and eat!) great big feasts, and simply enjoy the fullness of life. However, as holidays have begun to get more commercialized, they have also begun to get more stressful. We are busy shopping for our loves ones, trying to find that ‘perfect’ gift. We are busier than ever at work as the new year approaches, and we try to tie up all the loose ends from the passing year. In addition, the days have slowly been getting shorter, and the amount of sunshine we’re exposed to drops dramatically. All of this can really take a toll on your health and happiness!
As someone who has a tendency to weight myself down with responsibility and natural inclination towards seasonal affective disorder, I’ve had to learn over the years how to enjoy the gifts of the holiday season while at the same time effectively managing the stresses that come with it. Here are some of my favorite ways to make the holiday season the most relaxed, intimate, and joyful time of the year:
1) Remember the reason for the season. Catalogs and commercials might have you think that Christmas comes from a store, but I’m here to tell you that that just simply isn’t true. The holidays are not about big, expensive presents. They are about spending time with loved ones and being grateful for the gifts found in our everyday lives. If you’re feeling creative, here’s an experiment for you – try limiting the amount of money you spend on the holidays to about $100. With this limit in place, you will naturally gravitate towards more smaller, more personal, and perhaps even handmade gifts that have more thought behind them. As an added bonus, you will spur your creativity and nourish your divine artist within!
2) Stock up on Vitamin D! With the days getting shorter, our exposure to sunshine is decreased dramatically. Couple this with the fact that many of us spend the majority of our waking hours in an office, and you have a recipe for disaster. Our ancestors’ bodies were tuned to the rhythms of nature and decreasing sun exposure meant that winter was setting in, and it was time to slow down and conserve energy. When sunlight hits our skin, our supremely intelligent bodies use it to make Vitamin D. If your usual energy has been lacking or your moods have been depressed, it might be from too little sun exposure. Try taking 2,000-5,000 I.U. of Vitamin D3.
3) Cultivate a regular relaxation practice. Whether you enjoy meditation, conscious breathing, a walk in the woods, or laughing with close friends, make sure to take the time to incorporate these enjoyable and relaxing practices into your daily life. Sometimes it seems like all we want to do after a long day at work is plop in front of the television and zone out, but trust me, finding an enjoyable outlet to help you dissipate the tension and stress of the day will improve your life tremendously!
4) Make time for movement. Exercise. Nature’s natural mood elevator. If you’re feeling uber-stressed out or blue all the time, take this recommendation seriously! Exercise releases powerful endorphins that heighten mood and increase feelings of positivity. You don’t have to exercise for hours on end. If you just find 10 or 20 minutes in your day to move, it will help tremendously.
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Elephante, I would also urge you not to beat yourself up. Love yourself unconditionally. You are an amazing person, and you deserve it.