So much of the advice I see for weight loss, sounds really good, but in practical application, it just doesn’t work; at least it didn’t for me, and I suspect, for many of you. I know the advice, “Never arrive at a party hungry, eat a healthy snack like an apple or a handful of almonds just before you leave.”, never worked for me. Oh, I tried it, but I still wound up eating the food at the party.
In order to follow the perfect diet advice, you have to have the perfect mindset. I was a compulsive eater, and whether I was hungry or not, I was eating. That’s another thing. Just because I’ve lost weight, and do what I do for a living, I have food issues that go way back. The only difference is, that I recognize them, accept them, and as a result, I’ve learned how to deal with them. And as a Health Empowerment Coach, I help other people deal with them too. My philosophy is no deprivation, & no calorie counting, because counting calories takes time, and makes you think of food more often, and not in a good way. Besides, would you rather count calories, or enjoy the moments that count?
Here’s some common sense advice you can actually live with, enabling you to really enjoy, and not worry about every morsel of food going into your mouth.
Be kind to yourself, and give yourself permission to enjoy both the event and the food, completely.
Take a counting breath when you need to relax – Inhale to the count of 5, Exhale to the count of 5. Repeat as needed.
Do not make special food for yourself. If you feel the need to make a special dish to show off your cooking talents. then go ahead and make something for everyone to enjoy.
Eat whatever you want. Yep, I said that, and I will repeat it… Eat whatever you want. When you really want something and deny yourself the pleasure of having it, you can wind up eating even more, trying to compensate for what you wanted in the first place. I did not say eat as much as you want. There is a difference.
Practice eating mindfully, before a party, when it’s quiet and you can focus. Honor the food, and where it came from, who prepared it, and how it was prepared. Really taste it; try to figure out what seasonings and ingredients are in the dish.
Generally at holiday time, people go all out to make everything festive and wonderful, including the food. Appreciate that, and also honor your host, by really tasting and enjoying what is being served. They just may invite you back next year for being so appreciative. (-;
Eat dessert; only if you want it. And if there are too many choices to decide on one, don’t decide… eat them. Yes, I said that too. Take a 1/2 of a cookie, and share the other with a friend, or feed to the family dog (only kidding). Two kinds of pie, and you want both? Take a small piece of each, or find someone with the same thought, and share, remembering to eat mindfully.
If a well-meaning person tries to serve you something you don’t want, or push seconds on you, stand your ground with a polite, “No, thank you”. If they persist, no explanation on your part is necessary as to why you don’t want to eat that. Just take it, say thank you, and then give it to the aforementioned family dog. I’m really kidding about the dog, but here’s what I suggest: Just hold the plate for a moment, until that pushy person leaves, and then place the plate down, faking a bathroom run, if you must, and conveniently forget that you had a plate when you return.
Move as much as possible every day, and go for a walk if you can, after meals. NOT because you need to work off your food, but because you love your body, movement is good, and it will also help digestion. Besides, one of the worst things you can do is veg out on the couch after a big meal, though that’s what we feel like doing.
If you receive food as a gift, and you know that opening that box of cookies or candy may lead to eating a little more than you’re comfortable with, then bring the unopened box to another party, or bring into work, or anywhere else that you can have your cake and eat it too (or cookies or candy). Besides, you are embodying the spirit of the season by sharing.
I hope those suggestions were helpful to you. As my holiday gift to you, if you read this and contact me, you will be entitled to a complimentary 1/2 hour, phone or Skype consultation. I understand, because I’ve been there, and I really care about you, and want you to be the healthiest and happiest you can possibly be!
Wishing you health, happiness, joy and love, this holiday season, and always!
Tami Racaniello, President, It’s Time to Get Fit!, Inc.