The holidays are quickly approaching; before we know it, it will be Halloween! It would be easier to keep our weight in check if holidays were just celebrated on the actual special day. But we all know that there will be many celebrations including: work parties, gym parties, kids’ parties, family gatherings, and more throughout the coming months. Now is the best time to practice healthy habits so you can fight holiday weight gain with ease this season.
Strategy 1: Hold out for the good stuff. Is that bowl of regular candy on the receptionist’s desk really worth it? In the next coming months there will be many opportunities for treats, plan to splurge on the ones that are truly special, like Grandma’s special homemade pie, cookie, cake etc. You get the idea!
Strategy 2: Savor it. When you do get a hold of the good stuff. Instead of inhaling five cookies, pieces, or servings, try to start by really savoring just one. You may find that you’re more satisfied with that one that you savored than the five that you inhaled.
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Strategy 3: Eat until you are no longer hungry, not full. This strategy helps with portion control and will carry you through the holidays if you can master it now. To start, practice stopping your meal when you are no longer hungry, but before you get to a point of fullness. This should be easier if you’re practicing strategy two.
Strategy 4: Stay Hydrated. As it gets colder outside it’s easier to forget about hydration. Sometimes hunger can be a sign of dehydration, so drink up! Staying properly hydrated will also help fight fatigue, which can lead to increased calorie intake.
Strategy 5: Snack Smarter. Are you actually hungry or do you just need a break? Try taking a lap around the block, office space, or wherever when you get the mid-afternoon urge to snack. If you’re still hungry reach for something with protein, fiber, and/or fat like nuts, fruit, veggies, small piece of cheese etc. versus processed foods like chips or sweets.
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All these strategies are part of a concept known as intuitive eating, which takes dieting out of the equation and focuses on mindfulness. I’m not really a fan of calorie counting or restriction so I teach this method using these strategies and more when I work with clients in my private practice.
Are you an intuitive eater? Which of these strategies do you think would help you meet your goals?