"...what a person accomplishes in life is directly correlated with the people around them." - John Berardi

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Strategies

I said I'd have these strategies yesterday but I was busy enjoying my family, so here they are a day later :)

You can find them all over the place but here's a few of my favorite strategies to keep off a lot of the holiday pounds.

Sharing. Don't be afraid to "downsize." Take advantage of sharing that goodie you've been eyeing, with someone else. Or if you eat your own treat, don't be afraid to cut that pre-cut piece of pie or cookie bar in half (or thirds) to get it back to a reasonable portion size. You get the taste (which is really what you wanted, right?) without as much extra sugar & calories. This will naturally help you practice the 3 polite bite rule too! Let 's be honest, when it is an option, sharing is  more fun anyway!

Veggies first. I love this strategy because instead of focusing on what we "shouldn't" have we focus on what we should & fill up on those foods first. What you do, is first fill up half of your plate with veggies. Then, add some protein about the size of your palm. Enjoy a couple of thumb sizes of quality fats (yes, you need fat to burn fat - avocado, olives, nuts, etc) and leave the rest of your plate for fruit & starchy foods (rice, sweet potato, etc). If you eat that first, you'll find that you're full & fulfilled and physically can't eat as many treats :)

Eat slowly. Take a minimum of 15 minutes eating your meal. Once finished, stop & evaluate if you're still hungry or not. If you're not, put your plate away (which helps tell your brain that eating is done for now), & move on to an enjoyable activity, which leads to my next strategy... 

Move away from the food. This strategy is soo simple but very effective. I am notorious for overrating when I sit next to food for long periods of time. I'll keep reaching for whatever is in front of me, even if I'm full or don't really want it. So for me, getting away from the food after finishing my plate & especially where I can't see it, makes it easier to shift my attention away from food.

Drink sufficient water. Sometimes we're actually thirsty when we think we're hungry. Especially between meals, try to drink roughly half your body weight in ounces of water. We need the water & it will help keep us from overrating.

Evaluate why you're eating. Are you really just tired? Possibly bored? There is no shame in taking a nap if you're legitimately tired & need to let your body recover from the craziness of the season. If it's boredom, find something enjoyable to do: read a book, play games, play in the snow (if you have any), enjoy a sport, or go for a walk. Hopefully you can find fun things to do with people you care about. 

What are your strategies over the holidays to keep the pounds off?