The holidays can sabotage any personal nutrition, exercise, mental or emotional action plan. The average weight gain during the month of December is reported to be between 1 and 10 pounds. Unfortunately many are unable to lose this weight during the next year.
Top Challenges include the following:
Ø Emotional Eating – Holidays bring sadness, worry, stress or conflict to some rather than fun and happiness. Many of us reach out for the “comfort” food that we associate with better times, our childhood happiness, or past experiences of satisfaction. Increased use of alcohol based drinks can lower inhibitions and increase food consumption.
Ø Food Focused Celebrations – Many family and friend activities are planned around food celebrations. Lots of traditional foods (some higher in calories) like grandma’s fudge, Aunt B’s famous pecan pie, or mom’s great enchiladas become the focus of the celebration. The real reason to celebrate with family and friends is lost in the preparation, presentation, and consumption of lots of food.
Ø Decrease in Exercise – The number one reason reported for the decrease in exercise during this time is lack of time. Just when we consume more calories and experience more stress, we give up on exercise time. Other causes of decreased exercise time include weather and less day light.
Ø Loss of Physical Energy – Poor eating habits, lack of exercise, loss of sleep, increased demands on our time, the increased number of activities lead to more complaints of “just too tired”. Many finish the holiday season exhausted and saying “it won’t be the same next year”.
Each week during the month of December, the FET blog site will provide tips to keep you from experiencing the holiday weight gain syndrome and support you through a great holiday experience. If you have tips to share, just put a note in the blog site. (www.fullengagmenttraining.com) HAPPY HOLIDAY!
Tip #1 – Be aware of what is going into your mouth! There are lots of food and activities going on. Is it a “NEED” or “WANT” food? Remember 80% of your meal should be NEED but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo Aunt B’s pecan pie. Plan in advance and have that 20% WANT food. Portions are extremely important; use that smaller plate to help you manage portions of those great enchiladas. If Grandma insists you have to have a piece of fudge, save it for after a meal instead of a snack and enjoy it. During this time, writing down what you are eating each day will help you stay focused and on track. Watch your alcohol consumption around food. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and you end up eating more in quantity and foods you normally can resist. Weighing daily will remind you of your goal. Eat light & eat every 3-4 hours to keep you from making poor food choices - getting really hungry only sabotages you.