The Holidays are upon us, which means you may be getting ready to travel or you may be scurrying around preparing the house for company, slaving in the kitchen or multi-tasking in a variety of ways. That means your stress level is rising and along with it comes the possibility that you will turn to food for support. You don't have to if you are using this community or an outside support team. Your go to "cheerleaders" are waiting to help you through any frustrations or elevated levels of anxiety so you don't eat emotionally. Remember, most of us are going through what you are going through - at some level - and we want your help as well. The food support buddy system is a give and take system. We are there for you when you need us and likewise, we may need your support as well.
In fact, one issue that a lot of cooks struggle with during the holidays is the fact that you are called upon to do a fair amount of taste testing, especially if you are the primary chef for the holiday meal and you are surrounded by food and food ingredients all day long as you cook and prepare the meal. If you struggle with control or even if you have successfully lost weight and maintained weight loss, this cooking role can really challenge your willpower. So what can you do? The tip of the day is mindfulness and food tracking.
Keep a journal handy in the kitchen (or a small cassette player or recording device) so you can track all the spoonfuls of tastes, and how many spoonfuls you are taking as you cook and sample each phase of the dishes you are preparing. Let's also agree that on cooking days you should have small balanced mini meals whose components include a serving of a lean protein, a serving of salad or a fruit and a small serving of a healthy fat. I'd stick to 200-250 calorie mini meals (and have about 3-4). So a hard boiled egg with an apple cored and dipped in a teaspoon of peanut butter can keep you nutritionally balanced with a low calorie count. So can a yogurt with some berries and chopped nuts. That then allows you those extra food samplings without busting your day's worth of calories. The mixture of protein, carbohydrate and fat will also keep you from blood sugar highs and lows; it will also keep you quite satiated. Best of all, you can still have a substantial party meal.
So the key is to stay mindful of tastes throughout the day because the calories do add up, while eating small meals that are nutritionally balanced and filling, but low in calories. Save your bread/grain servings, your meat based protein and your desserts for the party, but again be mindful and pick and choose rather than gorge. For some additional tips to help you avoid weight gain during the holiday, tune in after Thanksgiving for my next installment.
Published On: December 07, 2009