Surviving the Holidays: Smart Strategies to Enjoy Without Derailing Your Progress

by | Nov 19, 2023

‘Tis once again the season…with Thanksgiving just around the bend. It’s in the coming weeks, or actually months I should say, where we can easily find ourselves in this all-to-familiar situation of food opportunities abound.


It’s that “special” time of the year that gives us endless opportunities to enjoy with friends and family through office parties, business dinners, holiday parties, and plenty and plenty and plenty of indulgences.


And why not?? It’s ONLY once a year, right?! Might as well live a little… Am I right?!


I mean, we’re in November now, and Thanksgiving is in November, and I’m not going to deprive myself and miss out on ALL of the good foods that I love… and since Christmas isn’t far behind, I suppose I can just enjoy myself for the rest of the year and just start back after the new year…


Sound familiar at all?!!! 


But here’s the thing… when we really look at it, for most of us, the holiday season is just 2 days – Thanksgiving and Christmas, that has somehow morphed into 2 months and for many, more than that. 2 months of every year spent eating and drinking well above our calorie needs. Which is statistically when we gain the most weight and from which the majority of the following year is spent working to shed those unwanted pounds.


If you’ve been part of our Body Systems Smart Nutrition Coaching Program, then you’re well aware that progress is hard-earned through the day by day, and week-by-week fastidious focus on all of the important nuances of calorie control and lifestyle management, any progress lost during the holidays isn’t going to simply reappear without a significant amount of effort and time.


So how do we plan for success during these times when the FOMO (fear of missing out) can be very real?


Well, I’ll ask you to ask yourself: What do I want out of the holiday season? Surely I don’t want to miss out, but what DO I WANT?


And what’s the real cost of sacrificing a few desserts and/or libations each week to walk out of the holiday season bonanza having maintained all of your hard-earned progress? 


There’s a big difference between completely avoiding social gatherings or bringing your own macro-friendly foods and throwing caution to the wind and hoping for the best. The reality is that you have the skills, knowledge, and support to make perfectly reasonable and strategic decisions while still enjoying yourself IF you choose to. It’s your choice.


So, what do you want?


Do you want to keep aggressively pushing forward towards your weight loss goals? If so, just understand that more sacrifices will need to be made.


Or would you accept simply not gaining weight and maintaining your hard-earned progress as a win while still having the freedom to enjoy yourself a little more? 


Either way is great as long as you understand what specifically needs to happen to put you in the best position for success. 


This time of year is like our Superbowl, where we get to really put into play all of the nutrition skills and behaviors that you’ve been developing during your coaching journey. It truly is the perfect time to enjoy more flexibility and freedom while respecting the plan you’ve set in motion.


Ultimately it’s important to identify what the holidays actually mean to you and why spending time with friends and family really has little to do with the amount of food and alcohol you do or do not consume. Gently declining that eggnog or second piece of pie and going for a walk instead is just one of the many ways that you can show up and own your behaviors like the adult that you are rather than making excuses or simply trying your best.


Be honest with yourself and ask yourself what you want – and then let’s get to work establishing the standards and action steps for how you’re going to achieve that. 

In Health,



Benjamin Brown
Owner / Head coach
Body Systems

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