6 Ways to Beat Holiday Weight Gain –
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6 Ways to Beat Holiday Weight Gain
1. Say Yes to Doing Less:
The holidays are a busy time and there are a million and one obligations. During all the hustle and bustle it can be easy to forget about our own self care. Stress management is a big part of loving ourselves. Sometimes we need to learn to say no and just spend more time at home alone in peace and quiet. Many of us bite off more than we can chew with our friends and family. Look at your to do list and social calendar and see which things you can eliminate. No one will take care of you except for you. For me, attending all you can eat parties bring back old patterns of overeating so it also helps to limit the number of times I open that Pandora’s Box of temptation. If you are running ragged this season it is likely that you will stuff yourself with sugar, carbs, and unhealthy fats to try to improve your energy. This is a time for giving to others, but you can’t give if you are tapped out and depleted.
2. Take a Deep Breath:
So often we are obsessed with our never-ending to do list. We wake up early with anxiety about what we have to get done. We stay up late frying our brains looking at computer screens. Then we drink coffee all day to keep going. Don’t forget that cookie or chocolate at 3pm to “make it through” the afternoon. This cycle will definitely burn you out if you do not learn ways to manage it. Adequate sleep is a critically important factor in preventing food cravings. Try to get to bed at a reasonable hour and you will have an easier time turning down the donuts. One new way I have found to manage stress is to spend 5 to 10 minutes a day focusing on deep breathing. Just shut the door, lie on the bed or the floor, then focus on taking really deep breaths through your nose. The most challenging part will be sitting still and shutting out your need to do something. Try to enjoy just being still. Let the thought float freely through your mind but keep your attention focused on the breath. If you incorporate this habit daily it will calm your nerves and you will be less likely to medicate with food.
3. Emotional Freedom Technique:
I have always struggled with stuffing myself with food so about a year ago I went to a wonderful hypnotherapist named Susanne Runion. She taught me many ways to deal with my patterns around food. The thing that has stuck with me the most is called EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. This changes your energy and brings you into the present moment. It only takes about one minute and can be done in private (the bathroom) before a big meal. At first I just thought it was silly and would not help me because usually nothing can stop me from eating until I am uncomfortably full. What I found was that when do EFT I chew my food more thoroughly and I get satisfied faster. Chewing food 20-30 times will also help improve absorption of nutrients and reduce gas or bloating. See the clip and try it for yourself. It is important to do the tapping before each meal for the full effect.
|Start the day off right!
4. Eat a Good Breakfast:
There is a tendency to skip meals so you can save all your calories for the the feast. That sounds good in theory but if your blood sugar is crashing right before the big dinner you will have no rationality to make positive choices. The urge to fill up on bread, sugar, or alcohol will be overwhelming. This can lead to a spiral of negative eating that can spread into days. It is better to have a good breakfast filled with fat and protein to stabilize insulin levels. One of my favorite breakfast is to have scrambled pastured eggs with veggies and smoked salmon. Check some easy breakfast recipes here.
5. Fill up on Meat, Veggies, and Healthy Fats First:
When you go for that big holiday meal I am not saying you can’t have a treat. Just start the meal off right and your need for sugar and carbs will be reduced. A strategy of mine is to make a big plate of meat and non-starchy vegetables first. Don’t forget the good fats which provide satiety longer than lean turkey breast and steamed green beans alone. Also without good fats like grass fed butter, coconut oil, ghee, red palm oil, and pastured animal fats we are less able to absorb the vitamins from vegetables. The right fats also fight the holiday blues because they are the raw materials for hormones such as Serotonin. When I am almost full, I may have a taste of some of my favorites like sweet potatoes or some dark chocolate. For me carbs are a very slippery slope where I never seem to find my footing. I think we all have to look deep within and ask ourselves the truth about how much we can handle. If you are feeling strong check The Food Lovers Primal Palette for some gluten free real food holiday recipes.
6. Bring Your Own Dish:
For years I have brought my own dish to parties to insure that I will have something I can eat. If you know there is going to be some meat, you can just bring a vegetable dish that won’t be brimming with mushroom soup or fried onions. Sometimes I bring a vegetable tray or a dessert that I know fits into my eating plan. Many people have special diets and it is nothing to be ashamed about. It is a sign that you care about your body and your health. Many of us strive to please others when we visit but that just doesn’t work when our well-being is on the line. If you explain in advance that you have an allergy or a special circumstance people will understand. I have a gluten allergy that I let people know about and it helps to avoid hurt feelings. One more tip is to is to volunteer to be the designated driver which can help us avoid lots of unneeded calories and temptation.
For more of my tips on how to deal with social gatherings click here
I highly recommend this guide for getting back on track after the holidays!
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