Starting with Thanksgiving and ending with New Years Eve we are going to face numerous temptations to indulge and over indulge in a plethora of foods and drinks. It’s been said that one could gain up to 5-7lbs during the holiday season. But research has shown that this isn’t quite the case. It appears that the average person really only gains 1lb during the holiday season but fails to lose that pound during the spring and summer seasons and subsequently as the years go by the pounds add up. Well, who knows if it’s 1lb or 5lb but what I do knowis that this time of the year is tough for those who are conscious about their weight and the number on the scale. It can cause what should be a joyous time to a be one of stress and anxiety. But I’ve complied a list of 6 tips that if put to use, the feelings of anxiety, stress, and possible weight gain can be avoided and we can enjoy the delicious foods and deserts we only get to enjoy this time of the year.
1. Plan Ahead/Get a Game Plan
If you are attending a holiday party or family gathering, find out what food and drinks will be served. Find out if it’s buffet style or a sit down dinner. Ask for the menu ahead of time. Don’t show up and not know what temptations you will face. Plan on choosing what foods you will have before you get there and use small plates. Get a game plan and plan your meals drinks and desserts. As the saying goes, “those who fail to plan; plan to fail”
2. Eat Before You Go
Eat a small meal or snack before attending holiday parties or gatherings. Never go hungry. If you are hungry this is a sure fire way to overeat. Have an apple, cheese and crackers or a small plate of leftovers. As kids when we filled out plate with more than we could eat, the elders used to say, “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”. When you arrive having already eaten a healthy meal your eyes won’t deceive your stomach and you will eat smaller portions. Another helpful tip is to bring a fruit or veggie tray to the party or gathering to balance the tempting foods that are present.
Always drink plenty of water. Don’t overdo it on the egg nog. Limit your consumption of soda/pop, champagne, specialty coffee drinks, and alcohol. Water is zero calories. One egg nog equals about 350 calories. Don’t drink your calories, eat them.
4. Engage in Mindful Eating
“Mindful eating is a method encouraging individuals to use their inner wisdom to find joyfulness in the preparation and consumption of food.” A few components of mindful eating are as follows:
Eat slowly– take breaks to assess fullness.
Recognize inner clues-use feelings of hunger and fullness to guide your eating, not cleaning your plate.
Be in the present-savor the moment and the taste. Don’t think of distant outcomes (this is going to make me fat).
Reflect on mindless eating– be aware of and reflect on the effects of eating out of boredom or frustration. Pay attention to your emotional state while eating.
5. Say “I don’t” not “I can’t”
Grandma is going to offer you a slice of her 6,000 calorie peach cobbler and she does not want to hear, “grandma I can’t. I’m trying to watch what I eat”. She’s going to say “aww baby it’s the holidays, one slice ain’t never hurt nobody”. How can you say no to that? But an easier way to avoid temptation is to avoid the whole spiel about weight control and extra pounds and simply say, “I don’t eat that, but thank you” don’t is much more effective than can’t. When someone offers you something you want to avoid, just say I don’t eat/drink that.
6. Remember it’s not that serious!
Hey, what’s the the worst that could happen? You eat half the sweet potato pie? Been there, done that. Don’t put so much pressure and stress on yourself that you forget the true meaning of this time of the year. A time where you can enjoy the people you love and care for the most while savoring the foods that we only get to enjoy this time of the year. If you do forget to implement these tips and put on a few pounds, no worries, I will have a few tips January 1st on how to shed those holiday pounds 😊 happy holidays from the Queen of Clean