Do not, do not say - "I will eat my way through the holidays AND THEN start my diet after the first of the year," because that is a prescription for diet failure, yo-yo dieting and weight gain not weight loss. If that's your mantra, then let me point out that there is no right time or wrong time to start watching portions, calories, making better and healthier food choices, exercising - without deprivation being added in the mix. But that's exactly what you are doing when you say "I'll diet later." If you are trying to create a healthier template for your life - AND LOSE WEIGHT - then you need to be thinking about it even during the holidays. And though choices features prominently in the mix, deprivation doesn't.
I just aired a radio show today devoted entirely to battling holiday bulge. You can hear it tonite (if you missed it this morning) at 10pm (PST), 1 am Thursday (EST) - or pick it up as a download starting Thursday evening on the Voice America Health and Wellness channel, check out Wednesday's schedule - HealthBeat with Amy Hendel.
Some quick tips:
- Wear a belt to every party meal - and don't loosen it - so you feel the fullness and stop eating when appropriate.
- Use smaller plates and utensils so you do eat less - enjoy the quality but do consider slowing the pace of eating, making the mouthfuls smaller.
- Pay back with small spurts of vigorous exercise - even 10 or 15 minutes of intense walking can burn off significant calories
- Use "subsitute ingredients" - fruit puree for fat, evaporated skim milk to add creaminess with less calories, blend up cooked veggies to thicken soups with less calories, use cauliflower puree instead of mashed potatoes
- Google lighter recipes - the internet has a plethora of recipes with less fat, salt, and robust holiday taste
- Treat treats with respect - if you decide you have entitlement at every meal and everyday for the next 4-5 weeks - that IS disordered eating - you need to find a way to calm that desperate inner food voice.
The holiday is a great time to enjoy with mindful eating and food selections and a commitment to simply maintain your weight.
Published On: November 19, 2008