Are you heading for a holiday? The holidays are a difficult time when it comes to wholesome nutritional habits because of all the temptations in front of you. You will find yourself with delicious food surrounding you, and it is justifiable to have fears of putting on weight at the holiday period.
All the sweet drinks, treats and foods can take a toll on your body, and many people resort to having new year resolutions of losing weight, then going back to the same cycle. However, it does not have to be that way, as you can still spend time with your family and friends and remain on track with whatever goals you have set for your health. After all, holidays are not just about eating – they are also for giving back to the less fortunate and expressing gratitude.
To avoid overindulging in food, it is important to ask yourself some important questions.
Am I really that hungry?
Hunger can be due to a myriad of issues. Sometimes when you are craving something, it is not hunger that is driving it, instead being other emotional issues such as stress, anxiety, loneliness or excitement. Make sure that you check back with yourself to be sure that you are truly hungry.
Moderate alcohol intake
An occasional drink is sometimes welcome for most people, but the holidays provide an extra reason to overindulge – after all, you are not going to work the following day or for some time, so people can drink all they want.
If avoiding alcohol completely during a long holiday season such as Christmas is difficult for you, you can consider alternating a non-alcoholic beverage with alcoholic beverages to minimize the chances of getting hangovers the following morning after a night out.
In addition, keep in mind that it is very easy to build up the calories from alcoholic drinks alone – so be careful with your intake even as you enjoy yourself with your loved ones. The best choices for lower calories include clear liquids and aromatics such as fresh citrus or club soda, and gin, vodka or tequila. In case you want to optimize a cocktail, stay away from concentrates, sugary juice mixes, syrups and fruit juices.
Do not feel guilty
The mental processing after you eat large quantities of food is a low point. You start to think of all the calories you have consumed in one night and the pounds you have just gained, but this thinking does not help – it simply leads you to think thee weight loss journey and healthy eating is not worth it. Before long, you will give up on your goals.
It is better to get rid of the negative voices in your mind, and allow yourself to enjoy in the indulgence, at least for that time. Think optimistically that you can get back on track with your goals the following day and eat healthier foods.
When you are realistic with your consumption and exercise program, you will give yourself an allowance for the holidays and special events because you know the temptations will be there. In addition, you will always go back to questioning whether you are that hungry as you think, and you may discover you do not need that second helping of food anyway.
Be conscious of your consumption
When you want to indulge yourself properly, it is important to be conscious of what you are eating and the quantities you are consuming it in. It is very important to involve your mind in your eating choices – it is not just your body talking.
That means that eating fast is a no-no. You are basically ignoring the signals your body is sending you, even those that tell you it is full – so you continue eating and find you have overeaten by a long shot. Your body does not catch up as fast as your brain does, so you may not know that you are full immediately.
On average, the body can send signals regarding satisfaction to the brain, but it is a slow process taking about twenty minutes. Therefore, do not rush in eating (no one is stealing your food anyway), but mostly let the body catch up to the brain.
Use smaller plates
Those very delicious foods that you find during holiday season only come once in a while, right? Therefore, you want to make the most out of everything, and you end up overeating because you want to consume everything in sight.
To combat the problem, it is a good habit to focus on enjoying every bite you take in. Avoid multitasking as you eat, and savor every bite and texture.
Do not skip meals
Many people when wanting to lose weight resort to the infamous methods of sipping meals, and it seems to be a very popular method. It goes hand in hand with parties as well, as you will find someone arriving hungry to a party.
However, when you skip meals such as breakfast or lunch, simply to ‘save’ your calories for dinner time, you are setting yourself up for failure before you even begin. Your metabolism will slow down. You will also tend to overeat because the body requires energy to function, and it lacks the optimum energy until that point.
Skipping meals has other effects on the body, with reduction of blood sugar levels being one of the more common consequences. That will result in mood swings, low energy levels and brain fog – effects that you do not want during the holiday season.
It is a better choice to have a light breakfast like a smoothie, and a light lunch. Eating something before the party will keep your energy up, but will reduce the chances of overeating.
Temptations are many, but you need to stay mindful of how you approach and deal with them. Above all, it is important to let your mind be involved in the process so that you enjoy feasting in a sustainable healthy manner.