Ah….Yes, we all have heard of the Freshman 15 with some focus and youthful energy can be quickly slimmed off but the annual Xmas 10 is yet another source of the Culture of Indulgence/Obesity in America Society
Don’t get me wrong, I remember back in my youth in a subculture where a second helping was a downright insult…..3rd-4th and even 5ths was standard operating procedure. Ours was not a culture of wine or spirits but of world class great food in a variety of beautifully prepared dishes of quantity and quality to boggle the mind.
How could you not gain ten pounds every single years with such truly amazing food?
All through my twenties and thirties I played this seesaw game of the Xmas gain and Summer losing weight. In my early forties I got off of this roller coaster ride which was a revolutionary action ….trend setting indeed….. as for starters I filled up my plate and when I finished eating it ..I was done.
I heard all sorts of retorts….Was I ill?….Was the food bad?…What was I thinking?
It just seemed to be an intuitive action of wellness…what was gaining and losing 10-15 lbs. doing to my body?
I next developed some strategies for beyond the Family Feasting Culture there was lots of parties and an endless parade of food gifts each Christmas.
While others headed for the many meat dishes, I started my meal by eating the salad that was heaped out in a double portion. The volume of greens are mostly water and do an excellent job of setting the environment for the rest of your meal
Last One Wins the Race
I observe some folks eating so fast that I hope they don’t swallow their fingers. This is how we bulk up on more food than we really need. This is especially harmful when we are eating calorie rich Holiday fair that have lots of comfort food fats….. Seconds on the lips do equate to months on the hips…Slow Down
Hydration is critical in the digestion of the food. Drinking water helps maintain the balance of fluids in the body, responsible for many different vital functions. From digestion to transportation and absorption of nutrients, drinking water can also help control calories. Foods with a high water content, such as fruits and vegetables, are absorbed more slowly by the body, aiding fullness
Eating a small meal before you head out to make the party circuit saves tons of calories as it eases your impulse eating. The key point in Wellness is preparation and this pre-meal strategy lets you focus on the people at the party and not the food….also knowing who cooked the food…this may save you some digestive illness.
Since cutting out alcohol is not realistic for most during the holiday season, limiting intake is crucial for moderating calories.
Alternating each drink with a glass of water helps avoid over-indulging.
Next, cut out sugary mixers and choose to sip a drink neat (on the rocks) or mixed with soda water. In addition, avoid the common plan to avoid eating all day and “save up calories” for drinking later on.
Researchers explain that since most cocktails contain simple carbohydrates, which cause a spike in blood sugar, the “crash” after leads to a ravenous appetite (and high likelihood to over-eat). Therefore, it is wiser to plan to have less to drink and eat food as normal throughout the day….Wellness is all about preparation…..
Rip Van Winkle….
While late nights make it hard to stick to a regular sleep schedule, sleep deprivation can cause not only drowsiness the following day, but also lead to overeating.
Researchers found that men and women who slept less than 5 hours a night were more likely to crave (and end up eating) more high-calorie foods. Sleep duration has a significant impact on the hormones which regulate hunger — ghrelin and leptin — thereby stimulating the appetite.
A recent study found that sleep-deprived subjects had activated reward centers in their brains after viewing pictures of unhealthy foods– explaining why a piece of cake is downright irresistible after little sleep.
No Elastic Waistband Pants
Before sitting down to a big dinner, consider clothing options. An elastic waistband is much more forgiving than a belt and structured pants or jeans. This simple reminder around the middle can help shave off many extra calories during a meal….it’s kind of a no brainer ….when your clothes are tight it’s time to stop eating.
I always have a bag filled with my own snacks that are all healthy and I know digest well. I like grab-and-go fruit like apples and bananas, air-popped popcorn, carrots and hummus, and for those that eat dairy some light string cheese are healthy snack options.
Some of the worse calorie binges are while we are multi-tasking. The worse is holiday chatting while fueling up. This removes any visual reference point to the quantity of food as the behavior becomes unconscious and purely automatic. Select your portion and take the time to enjoy what it actually taste like and not what the sensation of downing the endless cavalcade of hot-wet-sweet-salty stuff.
Enjoy the Moment
Deprivation of favorite holiday-only treats can lead to an unplanned binge, especially when stress levels are elevated. Treat yourself a bit during the festive season, always following the rule of moderation. Indulge but be mindful of the amount and time of the day you’re eating it.
The results of these strategies have been most successful…..I am thirty pounds lighter and my waistline five inches less than when I was twenty five years old. So at any age these strategies work very well.
I personally eat anything I want when ever I want (gluten /dairy free diet- No Alcohol) because I weigh myself every day at the gym before swimming. It is a very quick flash of instant reality. If I see the trend moving in the wrong direction immediate counter measures of what I’m eating are taken.
The critical piece is becoming Mindful about your body and learning to work within its individual rhythm
So with a just a little bit of preparation and self-knowledge you can have both a festive time and emerge January 1st healthy to hit your stride for the New Year