Holidays can be a stressful time, here are some tips to avoid stress eating during the holiday parties and how to enjoy the big Christmas feast without going overboard. This is a great week to talk about Christmas weight control! Gaining that winter fat is not inevitable, don’t resign yourself to it. Most people exercise far less in the winter because of the inclement weather which means you need to be a bit more careful with your eating than you are in the summer – the holidays really make this a challenge.
Many people gain weight over the holidays with all the parties and family gatherings. With all the amazing food available they pig out, and then after pigging out they feel so bad that the next day they figure, “Hey, I’ve blown it anyway, whats one more day of pigging out”. This downward spiral continues till springtime when people wake up with 15lbs of fat to lose.
Although the Christmas holidays are a joyous time, they are also a very stressful time for many. A common reaction to stress is stress-eating. Here are some tips for combating stress-eating:
- Avoid alcohol – especially at parties where there is a buffet table. When you are sober, you know that you should stay away from the bad food. After two or three cocktails, you start mindlessly munching until you notice people staring at you for eating the whole bowl of M&Ms.
- Pre-eat. Before going to that holiday dinner party, EAT! Thats right, eat a healthy meal. If you don’t have time to cook over the holidays buy a bunch of weight-watchers meals and keep them in the fridge. Holiday parties are famous for having the richest, most decadent, calorie laden foods available and if you are already full you wont be as tempted. Here is another tip that works from me, but hey, I’m weird. I HATE brushing and flossing my teeth. As part of my holiday party prep I eat my healthy meal and then brush and floss, that way, I really, really think twice about putting anything in my mouth at the party :)
- Avoid the kitchen. I know the party always seem to end up in the kitchen where the buffet is but avoid that area! Stay at least 10 feet away from the food and keep your back to it all the time – out of sight, out of mind.
- Socialize. Thats what holiday parties are about anyway, be a social butterfly. Not only will you have more fun but it will take your mind off that amazing looking flourless cake that seems to be calling your name …
- Sleep. If you are sleep deprived you will be much hungrier than if you got a full nights sleep. I know the holidays are a busy time but try to get as much sleep as you can because it will help you maintain or lose weight. Please read about sleep, fat, muscle and bodybuilding.
- Exercise. Again, I know everyone is crazy busy during the holidays and you probably have to skip some of your gym workouts but at least go for walks. Going for a 20 or 30 minute walk at lunch will help restore your sanity as well as keep your metabolism revved up so you can continue to burn lots of calories.
OK, those are some basic tips for avoiding gaining fat from stress eating, now lets talk about how you can enjoy your Christmas feast without guilt or gained pounds. The holidays are a time of celebration, you don’t want a cloud of guilt over them about overeating. Here are four simple pointers that can help you maximize your enjoyment of all the wonderful food without overdoing it and the good thing is that these tips do NOT depend on willpower. Use of raw will usually fails at the holidays. After the fourth time Grandma passes the deep fried cheese sticks to you and exclaims about how you haven’t eaten enough even the strongest willed will give in. The trick is in using human physiology to help you limit how much you can eat! Follow these four tips to get full with far fewer calories:
- Fifteen minutes before the big meal, drink two 16 ounce glasses of water. This will help make you feel full with less food.
- Plan on getting two plates of food. On your first plate, don’t pile the food on but rather just enjoy a small portion of everything. A satisfying taste
- After finishing your first plate, talk and and enjoy the company of friends and family for at least fifteen minutes before going back for seconds. This delay allows your stomach time to tell your brain that it’s been satisfied. By delaying you will find that you will end up eating far less and being just as satisfied
- Start a new family tradition. After the meal, take a long walk! This serves two purposes. First it burns off that big meal you just had but more importantly, it makes you feel less guilty. Call it even, one big meal and one big walk. The next day you can go back to your healthy eating. This avoids the common effect the holidays have on people, the old ”I’ve already blown it, I might as well wait till spring to start a diet” attitude
Enjoy yourself, in moderation :)