Now that October 31st has come and gone, and we, literally, have Thanksgiving under our belts, we need to bolster ourselves for the imminent days ahead. Whether you celebrate Chanukah or Christmas, you celebrate, and celebrations are generally accompanied by food… lots and lots of food.
For many people, this time of year is a “bad time to diet.” In reality though, it’s never a “good” time to diet if you regard a “diet” as deprivation. And there’s rarely a month that doesn’t have something to celebrate, whether it’s a major holiday or a friend’s birthday, a family member’s anniversary, or an office mate’s retirement party. Therefore…today’s a great day to start shedding some light on how to shed some pounds and learning how to improve upon the foods you eat as well as how and when you eat them.
Let’s turn the situation around, and instead of thinking negatively (about cutting back), let’s talk about how wonderful this time of year is, filled with tradition and thankfulness. Food is a very important part of the holiday season, laced with nostalgia and memories. But that doesn’t mean that you have to celebrate the holiday season all season! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Years each occur on single days. These days need not last for months. Pick a few key days on which you’ll be more liberal about your food choices and try to eat in a balanced fashion. If go overboard on one day, don’t make it up by starving the next day or by indulging in negative self-talk and being angry with yourself.
Here are a few simple tips to help you be a little naughty and nice:
v Have a light snack before you go to a party so that you’re not starving when you get there.
v Don’t be fooled by pretty colored, wrapped candies and cookies around your home or office. They’re probably the same sweets you’ve managed to avoid all year through – they won’t taste any better, they’ll just look nicer.
v If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and perhaps select wine, champagne, or a light beer. Whiskey, like vodka or gin, (especially when doubles and triples are poured at parties) can really pack on the pounds.
v Drink lots of water, club soda or seltzer. Add lemon or lime and a splash of your favorite fruit juice for some added flavor. This is the drink of choice for the designated driver and the waist watcher.
v Remember the word, “sample.” Don’t take large portions of food that will make you feel bloated and guilty before you even arrive home. Provide your body and mind with foods that will make you feel good, even if they’re high in calories, bringing comfort, not discomfort.
This season is a time for feeling cozy and warm with those we love and for feeling good about your own accomplishments that occurred over the past year. It’s important to enjoy what you’re eating and to be aware that once the New Year arrives, you’ll want to enjoy what you look and feel like too.