Christmas is only a few days ahead and that means the festivities are well underway. They certainly are in my house with the mince pies coming out a week ago already. Instead of residing to the belief that I will simply put on unwanted weight during this period and then want to work it off in the New Year, I have chosen to take a smarter approach.
I will share with you
- Simply holiday eating tips
- 3 cunning strategies to avoid putting on weight
- How emotional awareness can help you make better choices
My smarter approach does not mean going without. Yep, I do view food as one of life’s pleasures, especially when enjoyed in a joyous and friendly social setting.
So, I’m going to enjoy the naughty treats for sure. I have to be careful though because I do put on weight easily, specifically belly fat (it’s a man thing), and I have become quite sensitive to excess sugar as a result of mostly cutting out refined sugars completely from my diet.
I believe we all need to figure out our own approach and what works for me might not work for you. I therefore will offer insights and ideas, sourced from others more ‘educated’ than I on the topics, who have influenced my strategy.
I hope they offer some inspiration.
Straight-forward holiday eating tips
A registered dietician and wellness consultant, Heather Cunningham, offers these tips for healthy holiday eating:
1. Don’t stand around the food table while chatting with friends and family, position yourself out of arms reach of the snacks
2. Use a smaller plate and first fill it with the healthier food choices
3. Avoid sugary drinks
4. Don’t arrive at a festive party starving or you are likely to binge. Snack on healthy fats and protein before you go.
referenced Article here...
3 Cunning strategies
An enthusiastic health blogger, a guy named Joe Garma, does some in-depth research to support his very thorough articles on health and wellness. A recent article of his provides some interesting ideas on how to enjoy the festive overindulgence while minimising the weight-gain effects. I share the highlights here and the link to the full article if you want to go deeper into the material.
He addresses three strategies:
- Minimize the release of insulin in response to the high glycemic food you eat
- Get the food you eat out quickly
- Perform brief muscle contractions pre and post binge
Strategy #1: Minimise Insulin
In a nutshell, too much insulin (caused by blood sugar spikes) is a bad thing, usually resulting in excess body fat. So, it’s a good thing to avoid.
- Make sure your first meal of the day on gluttony day contains protein and fiber
- Before your binge meal ingest about four ounces of grapefruit juice, which has a flat-lining effect on blood glucose (blood sugar), or lemon water as described below
- Drink citric juices during your binge meal
Strategy #2: Eliminate The Consumed Food Quickly
He means sitting on the loo, not kneeling in front of it.
- Consume 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine (one to two cups of coffee) or 16 ounces of Yerba Mate Tea, which contains theobromine, both effective at inducing a bowel movement
Strategy #3: Perform Brief, Multi-muscle Contraction Throughout the Binge
Have you ever heard that we should not eat and exercise at the same time? I have. Joe’s case here is that excess sugar, specifically simple/refined sugars need to work or will be turned to fat. So by performing large-muscle activating movements during the eating period we are giving sugar somewhere to go where it is needed and can be ‘burned’.
- Body weight squats, 60 to 90 seconds, and simple push-ups before, during and after eating.
The full article with all the reasons for and why can be found here...
We’ve heard about emotional eating, where someone attempts to drown their sorrows with a few slices of decadent choc-fudge cake, but what about emotional awareness eating?
The idea is that we can learn to listen to our emotional responses when faced with food choices. This ties in with the concept of our body having an innate intelligence and able to discern what is good and bad for it. Our bodies can signal this response through the emotions.
You are presented with two choices - (1) A high-sugar sweet (bad) and (2) a snack of healthy fats and protein (good). If you spent a little time in front of each food choice and tuned in to your body ‘listening’ for the response, you would have a more positive feel-response to the healthier option.
This is referred to as emotional awareness, applied in making conscious food choices. Referenced article here...
I hope these tips and insights have been interesting. I wish you a very merry Christmas and trust you will revel in the food and festivities, sensibly.