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Congratulations, you met your weight loss goal! Time to indulge!

It’s New Year’s eve – I’ll have the chocolate martini and cake!

Going out to dinner with the girls, so I’ll take the tacos and margaritas!

Sound familiar? Holidays, vacations, celebrations, football nights, girls’ night – the list goes on and on. Derailments and temptations will always be there, waiting for us to lose our way and gain it all back. The road to weight loss is one journey, and keeping it off is another.

In this post, I will share tips on the best ways to outsmart those high-risk food situations from my new book, Brain-Powered Weight Loss.

Tip 1: Learn to say “No, thank you.”

This tip falls in line with the overall goal to change the way you think about food, yourself and your health. It’s no secret that those struggling with weight often exhibit less assertive behaviors.

Maintaining control of high-risk situations and your emotions is often difficult because you are worried about hurt feelings, fitting in or standing out. Saying “No, thank you” when offered a homemade pie baked by your mother-in-law or ordering a salad when the rest of the table ordered steaks and fries has you in a panic because you fear being disrespectful or ridiculed.

The assertiveness that comes with being able to politely decline unhealthy choices and feeling confident in your choices is all part of what I like to call your mental machinery. With a fully loaded mental machinery, we take control back from those negative thoughts and self-doubts and can politely decline the pie your mother-in-law spent hours baking.

In the book, you will quickly learn that being an assertive eater is one of the most important exercises I teach because you’re going to rely on it all the time.

Tip No. 2: Know your weaknesses!

Time to go on defense! Understanding when and why you start to slip on your journey to weight management is the first line of defense in curbing weight gain and taking back control.

Holiday meals are almost always high-risk eating situations because we have emotional ties to food. Can you name at least five high-risk situations you encounter throughout the year that result in weight gain?

Sometimes it’s a simple change in venue where you control the meal that can make all the difference. Planning is the key to this line of defense. There are 20 scenarios outlined in the book that explain how you can take back control and defend yourself against those high-risk situations.

As individuals we’re all different, and that means we all have our own personal high-risk situations that can threaten to get between us and our goals. Understand yours, and you can go on the defense with the right plan.

Tip 3: Know the 4 A’s!

Avoid, Alter, Adapt and Accept – the 4 A’s.

Life’s stressors can make your weight-loss journey feel particularly tough at times. Knowing and understanding the four A’s can alleviate and reduce unhealthy tendencies that tend to creep in during stressful situations.

Avoid – Go out of the way to avoid people or situations that cause you undue stress and problems. Intentionally stay out of the way of people who irritate you and set your goals off balance.

Alter – Taking control and making steps to change the outcome of a problem situation will help you become more assertive and help eliminate your unhealthy obstacles. Try communicating your feelings openly and without placing blame.

Adapt – The willingness to adapt to in order to neutralize a stressful situation is a step you will need to help you outsmart your high-risk situations. From decreasing negative thinking to learning relaxing techniques, there are tools to learn to adapt easier.

Accept – Learning when to accept and how to deal with those issues when all else has failed will help you on your journey to weight loss and weight control. There will be times when you have no choice but to accept the way things are. Consider it a lesson learned, and don’t be afraid to enlist support when needed. Remember, you will make it through this.

Get the book and start your journey to Brain-Powered Weight Loss!