by Pete Bissonette, Learning StrategiesDelightful treats from a long-time vendor arrived at the office on Monday—the first of many that will tempt our taste buds this holiday season.
The temptation to overindulge in calorie-laden goodies is front and center. It can be overwhelming with all of the parties, buffets, and family gatherings. The added busyness of shopping, decorating, hosting, and traveling can heap on stress that may sabotage even the strongest resolve not to indulge.
Since food is a basic physical requirement and a powerful sedative, we often turn to food when stressed. Food provides instant gratification and an easy escape from taking responsibility for one’s choices.
Once we get out of touch with what the body needs for basic nutrition and energy, our relationship with our bodies can suffer, and we can put on weight.
However, holiday weight gain is not the five to ten pounds most people believe. According to the National Institutes of Health, most Americans have an average weight gain of about a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
The problem is that the weight is not lost during the remainder of the year. As the extra weight accumulates through the years, it becomes a major factor.
Prevent that extra weight from taking hold this holiday season with these tips:
- Don’t hover around buffet tables at parties. Avoid auto-grazing by staying as far from the buffet as possible.
- Watch your portion sizes. Use a smaller plate, and do not go back for seconds. Enjoy the food and be satisfied with one plate.
- Avoid high-calorie drinks such as eggnog.
- Reach for the healthy, non-starchy carbohydrates such as vegetables and fruits. They are a better choice than crackers and cheese, chicken wings, roasted nuts, and cookies.
- Get additional exercise. Add an extra 10 to 15 minutes to your workouts, do a few extra laps around the mall while shopping, and take more walks.
Relax your body and close your eyes. Think of a situation around eating that has been a problem for you or could be a problem, such as an upcoming family gathering. How would you like to behave in that situation? Imagine new behaviors that can lead you toward your desired goal.
Food nourishes you and is essential for the maintenance of your health. Increasing your eating awareness helps you naturally select the right foods in the right quantities.
©2010 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Nutrition and Fitness Expert JJ Virgin is a the author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy and the co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters reality series. Visit her at http://www.jjvirgin.com to grab her free audio: 7 Steps to Break Your “Freaky” Food Habits Fast & Forever.