13 Ways to Stick to Your Diet During the Holidays

Are you afraid the holidays will derail your diet?  They don’t have to!

The key to sticking to your diet and eating healthy is mental toughness. That means there are no shortcuts to dieting, even at the holidays. You either adhere to a healthy diet or pay the price of gaining weight, sickness and disease. This is not a short-term project. This is a lifetime strategy that is essential and must be approached like any other long-term investment.

Here are 13 mental toughness tips to help you stick to your diet this Thanksgiving and holiday season:

  1. 99% compliance on a diet is failure, even at the holidays!  Sounds harsh, but if you’re going to get fit, it’s all or nothing.  If you are in a committed relationship you wouldn’t cheat on your significant other just one time, so why would you cheat on something as important as your diet?
  2. Expect challenges such as cravings, and when this happens have a plan in place to push forward and stay compliant.
  3. Create a vision board filled with pictures of lean, fit and sexy people. Hang it in a very visible location. When you feel discouraged, feel like giving up, get the urge to eat bad or cheat on your diet, look at the vision board which will reinforce your health goals.
  4. Before you put anything in your mouth, always ask yourself, “How is this food going to impact my health?”
  5. If you’re on a diet during the holidays, don’t look at dieting as drudgery, but see it as a strategy for a lifetime to keep you healthy, looking good and feeling great.
  6. Developing a world-class self-talk may be the greatest mental toughness tool of all. This is one of the things that will really help you change your core beliefs about diets and exercise, and help you make it through the holidays.
  7. Find happiness in the holidays not from food, but in time spent with friends and family creating a lifetime of memories and new traditions.
  8. Realize that ultimately being fit and healthy is completely your responsibility, and blaming the holidays for your weight gain is just as bad as blaming other outside factors the rest of the year such as restaurants, the food manufacturers and portion sizes.
  9. Work through the holiday food/eating challenges with a friend. When you have someone else to help hold you accountable, it makes the process much easier.
  10. The holidays can be a very stressful time, so to avoid turning to food for comfort, take at least 30 minutes each day for yourself. Go for a walk, do something you enjoy and just make sometime for you.
  11. There’s no shame in saying no when someone wants you to try their homemade dessert. Simply tell people that this year you’re watching what you eat because you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy. In fact, it’s actually something to be proud of.
  12. Watching what you drink is just as important as watching what you eat. Drinks lots of water not only because it’s good for you, but it will help fill you up so you eat less. Avoid special holiday cocktails because their packed with calories and too much alcohol could let you loosen up too much to the point where you forget about your diet.
  13. People tend to see exercise as a burden during the holidays, when in fact they should make it more of a priority to help burn extra calories, relieve stress and give them an emotional boost.

When you’re tempted to overeat at the holidays, think about the bigger picture. Being fit will help you improve every area of your life. You’ll have more confidence at work, better inter-personal relationships, and being fit will reignite your sex life like nothing else.

When you’re tempted to cheat, ask yourself these questions…

  • When am I going to stop starting over? 
  • What makes tomorrow better than today to get fit?
  • If I continue to cheat and start over, will I eventually die fat?

Food will be in abundance this holiday season, but you have the mental toughness already inside you to stick to your diet and achieve your weight loss goals.

Steve Siebold is author of the book Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People, and a mental toughness coach who has helped thousands of people lose weight. He is the founder of The Fat Loser program, a free 21 day online mental toughness training program for people serious about losing weight.  Visit diefatbook  and  fat loser  for more info.