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Holiday Eating and "The Tools"!

The holiday celebrations are just about to begin, and since Thanksgiving we've been talking about overeating. Yesterday, a client told me that she had 4-6 small -dice size- pieces of cheese, two small glasses of wine and another appetizer or two. Together we figured out that this small amount of food probably added up to over 600 calories! This was before dinner and 600 calories amounts to almost 1/3 of the total daily calories she needs to maintain her weight!

After a cocktail and some cheese, I'm just getting started and maybe you are too. What can we do to maintain our weight over this holiday season (I'm not going to discuss the no carb craze either!)? We can set ourselves up for success by applying a few tips that I call "The Tools". The "Tools" are my lifetime rules that I suggest to clients and apply to myself for weight management. Now, I don't suggest we apply all the tools all the time, and some tools work better for some of us than others. However,there are some tools we might consider applying during the holidays and maybe beyond. Just remember, there's no such thing as perfection, and I definitely don't recommend restriction!

Holiday Eating and The Tools:

Start Early. Start early by eating breakfast. I always recommend that we eat something (no matter how small) within one hour of our waking up. Research has consistently shown that eating breakfast will help us to avoid cravings, and it helps our health too! My saying is "we can't play catch-up"! Start early.

Eat Often. When we eat every 3-4 hours, our blood sugar levels remain steady which also helps us to avoid those sugar cravings and overeating (holiday time or otherwise). It's also healthier to eat often and I've seen over and over again how eating often with even mini snacks and mini meals can benefit us with that stuffed satisfied feeling at the end of the day (not a bad idea if we're headed to a Christmas party!).

Make it a Combo. Let's combine and eat different type of foods together (forget that famous non food combining diet). I always suggest we eat like a diabetic patient by combining small amounts of protein with our carbohydrate foods. This will slow down the digestion and absorption of our food which will supply us with steady energy and maintain steady blood sugar levels. But I also suggesting that when we combine different colors, different textures and different tastes, we will be emotionally more satisfied.

Don't go hungry. Have we ever skipped meals, or saved our calories for that special party or meal only to then overeat? I rest my case!

Go lean. Eat foods that are low in fat or prepared using a low fat method on an everyday basis, and then enjoy the holiday appetizers as a trade-off without gaining weight!

Split it in half. Okay, this may not be for everyone but I thought I would include it. When we're eating at a holiday buffet, large holiday dinner at home or when we're eating at the company party, let's put all our food on one dish, then split it in half by putting half on a second plate. This allows us to have seconds without the extra calories that a second helping usually gives us. We trick our brain, but I've seen it work in our weight management efforts.

Walk-in-between. Let's take a short walk between dinner and dessert to give our brain some time to send the "I'm full signal" to our stomach!

So whether we use one of the tools or all of the tools, we can set ourselves up for moderation while we enjoy our holiday eating (while we become a little healthier too).


© Health News 2003 All Rights Reserved.

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