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Strategies to Combat Mindless Holiday Eating

I hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday and excited for the next few days and the New Year.  For many of us, we are in full swing of the holiday parties and get-togethers.  It also brings unhealthy food options and can result in overeating.  Tradition can breed the consumption of certain foods but there are ways to overcome indulgences, food triggers and their undesired effects that will last well past the New Year.  If you are aware of what you consume at these parties, that awareness can diminish some bad habits.  I realize that is much easier said than done, right?

Here are a few strategies to combat mindless eating yet enjoy yourself AND your weight loss efforts:

* Size Matters!  If you use smaller plates or glasses, that mere act alone will save you in less food and drink.  The smaller size looks more full with smaller quantities.

* Eat slowly!  As a weight loss surgery patient, we know how important it is to eat slowly due to avoiding food getting stuck and to aid our digestion.  As a strategy to use at the holidays AND all year long, by eating slowly you will feel satiated quicker and eat less.  It takes a few minutes for your brain and pouch to make the satiety connection.  Give your body that time to connect and save you in terms of excess calories.

* Eat real food.  Eat foods that are whole.  Eat things that are found in the outside of the grocery store – vegetables, fruits, protein, complex carbs.  Processed foods contain ingredients that you either can’t identify as to the source, can’t pronounce and generally are not good for you.

* Fill up on the good stuff, take bites of indulgences.  The more good, high quality foods you eat, the less room or desire you’ll have for the other stuff.  If you feel satisfied, a bite or two of your favorite holiday traditional foods will be enough.

* Don’t skip meals and save up.  If you skip a meal and save up your calories, you’ll be starving and reach for more than you would otherwise AND you’ll be more apt to make unhealthy food choices you might not make otherwise.  Savings accounts are great for your finances, not your calories.  If you are going to overdo and you know it, make sure you exercise earlier that day and especially the day after.  This will help burn the calories, minimize your food choices, and reaffirm your commitment to your health and weight loss goals.  Also, pay close attention to what you eat on the other days.  You won’t gain 5-10 pounds from only one meal.  The weight gain from the holidays is what you do (grazing) and the choices you make throughout the days leading up and following the holidays.

Remember that 2009 is right around the corner.  What you eat today will be with you as the New Year comes along.  You can decide now if you want to greet 2009 with extra pounds to lose or if you’ll merely continue what you’ve been doing to enjoy weight loss success.

Believe In Yourself,
Cathy, CLC
Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach
Certified Back On Track Facilitator

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