“Eat and Yes, Be Merry!”

So, if you couldn’t tell already by my writing, I believe in enjoying food.  I am a total foodie myself, and in fact, have a stash of candy and treats in my office drawer, just in case, I am ever hungry.  (It helps me, believe it or not, eat in a more rational way, as I know it is always there and I can have it whenever I want.  Then, if I am not hungry, or don’t feel like eating, I know it is there when I do want it.) 

I know this approach doesn’t work for everyone, but here come the holidays!I have been interviewed countless times during the holidays for radio segments as people freak out and worry about gaining weight in the face of umpteen cocktail parties and large meals. Here are a few tips:

1) Expect to gain some weight. Dont’ freak out, and go with it. That also doesn’t mean it won’t come off, if your usual habits shift back after these parties. Go with the fact that we all have roughly a 6-10 lb. fluctuation, you just might be on the high end of your swing and then it will swing back. Don’t get stuck in it because you freaked out that you gained weight so everything goes to H-ll.

2) Make sure you go to these parties having eaten some protein. It will help offset your grabbing everything in sight. You can skip a beat before grabbing something just because you don’t usually eat it. (I must recommend however, those cocktail franks with spicy mustard, yummmmm!)

3) Pile your plate with what you love, but keep checking in with yourself to make sure you are really enjoying what you are eating. Why bother if it doesn’t taste delicious?! Stay conscious. Stay connected to your body. Take breaks, so that the signal has registered that you might be done, or full. Promise yourself that you can always have more later, if you truly want it. (I mean it, it helps offset eating just for the sake of eating because you give yourself permission that moment.) Of course, eating past the point of fullness in my opinion, is part and parcel of the holidays, vacations, and celebratory times, so don’t sweat it. You can return to your usual habits of course.

4) I know everyone says to exercise the day you are going to eat alot, but if you can’t swing it, don’t sweat it. Do what you can. Don’t overthink it, or overworry. That can tend to backfire. If it works, great, if not, go with it. After all, this is a time to relax if you can, and above all, ENJOY!5) Suspend your usual rules of eating for the family if you are on holiday, and let yourself relax. I promise you, your kids won’t die of malnutrition. Follow your instincts, (your gut, ha!ha!) and trust yourself. Take what all the experts say and keep what works for you, and throw away the rest! Find what works. When all is said and done, you may not have gained as much as you thought you might, by relaxing and letting go. Use your own common sense. Happy eating!

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