Once, the holiday season is upon us, and we all know what that means: a few extra goodies on the dinner plate, a few extra pounds, and yes, maybe even a bit of added stress for some of us. With that said I thought I would get this out a little early. Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks for the families we have, the jobs we have, the “things” we have and, most of all, for the plentiful supply of food we have. But, just because we have an abundant amount of food in our country, that certainly does not mean we have to eat it all in one sitting!
Of course, reuniting with friends and family that we may only see once or twice a year can be quite draining for many of us, regardless of whether or not we struggle with our weight. Anybody feel this way?
However, for those of us who do struggle with our weight, the holidays can place an extra burden on us — as we attempt to enjoy the season while trying to prevent packing on a few extra pounds. My first survival tip is to KNOW that it is common to add a few pounds at this time of the year. Hence, we can CHOOSE to allow ourselves the typical few extra pounds and enjoy ourselves without the guilt. Or, we can CHOOSE to employ some survival tips in a conscious attempt to refrain from gaining.
So Here Are Your Tips
- PLAN ahead (there’s still plenty of time).
- LEARN about food substitutions. (You may want to bring your own salad dressing, low fat/salt butters, etc.) If You don’t know what foods fit your DNA or work best for you,
- NO PEOPLE PLEASING! Eat only what YOU desire. Do not eat as an obligation to others for “cooking your favorite dish.” You are the one who will have to live with the consequences, so make sure you make your own decisions. (Others may actually respect you more for standing up for yourself.)
- PRACTICE ASSERTIVENESS SKILLS so you will feel free to turn down certain foods or extra helpings without feeling guilty.
- CHOOSE to eat healthy ahead of time.
- NO SKIPPING meals prior to the holiday feast. This will only result in a binge at meal time and a spiral of guilt and hopelessness.
- EAT SMALLER PORTIONS! Allow yourself to taste what you want in smaller portions so as to not feel deprived. Once you start to feel deprived, you may be setting yourself up for a binge.
- VISUALIZE yourself eating healthy prior to attending the holiday meal. As Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
- BE CONSCIOUS of what you are doing and eating.
- NO PICKING before or after the meal. Eat only at the dinner table.
- CHEW slowly and enjoy the flavor and texture of the food. Put your fork down between each bite.
- EXERCISE more often or a bit longer and harder for a week prior to the holiday meal to compensate for the additional calories you may consume.
- NO GUILT! Make a conscious effort to CHOOSE what you are eating without the guilt attached.
- STOP eating when you are physically full. Start learning to recognize the difference between physical and emotional hunger now. Wnat to know even more about this issue?
- MANAGE your emotions. Have a plan as to what you will do in the event strong emotions arise when faced with certain situations or family members.
- REDUCE STRESS! Practice relaxation activities (deep Qigong breathing and Energy building exercises, meditation and prayer, yoga, neck rolling, stretching, take a walk, etc.) prior to going to your reunion.
- TAKE TIME OUTS when you feel things are getting out of control for you emotionally. I have learned this the hard way. So I strongly recommend this.
- TAKE CONTROL of your thoughts, feelings and actions before, during and after the holidays.
- KNOW that putting on a couple of pounds will NOT cause you to go back to square one. You have already learned what’s healthy. No one can take that away from you.
- RESUME your lifestyle of balance and wellness just after the holiday has passed. Or why not do something different for a change?
Working through these tips will assist in preventing the stress, emotional turmoil and weight gain that many of us endure at this time of the year. Happy Holidays!
Happy Holidays From The Spinachman
”Providing You Smart Nutritional and Lifestyle Solutions That Work”