Traditionally the time frame from mid November to January 1st is very difficult for most folks who struggle with their weight and health issues caused by weight gain. Not only is there an abundance of food and drink but the holidays, despite the appearance of happiness and merriment, can be the cause of large amounts of stress. For many, food is the go to stress reliever, at least temporarily. There is a relief associated with eating but invariably, the stress comes back and then the cycle starts again. Not only that but on top of the original stress, there can be guilt about eating because of stress levels and so that adds more stress. It can be a vicious cycle and very hard to get out of.
If you stress eat or just want to try and keep weight gain in check of the holidays, try some of these to help you make better food\eating choices:
- Skip the candy and crunch on some veggies.
- Challenge yourself to try new vegetables and fruits that are out of the norm for you. By purchasing only a small amount, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to possibly find a new favorite snack item that could have many beneficial effects on your mind and body.
- Retry some of those veggies and/or fruits you tried as a kid and did not like. Our taste buds change over the years and you may find you like them now.
- Don’t buy the bad stuff to begin with.
- Prepare shopping lists to keep yourself on track at the grocery store.
- Don’t shop hungry. Eat before you go.
- Stock your cupboards or pantry with healthier alternatives and buy with portion control in mind. Get smaller packages or portion out bigger packages into smaller ones so they are ready to go when you are ready to eat.
- Eat slowly and taste what you are eating. You’ll eat less, taste more and enjoy what you have eaten.
- Drink plenty of water-it’s good for you and makes you feel fuller.
- Keep gum on hand to curb those cravings.
- Plan and prepare-especially what’s for lunch and dinner in advance so you aren’t standing with the fridge door open and grabbing whatever is there. Planning also allows you to contemplate how great that meal will be when you got home and how much you will enjoy it.
- Don’t starve yourself. Eat healthy snacks throughout the day so you are less tempted to overeat at meal time.
- Give yourself permission to have small treats once in a while.
- Don’t restrict yourself so much that it’s no fun and you rebel by eating everything.
- If parties or potlucks are the problem: Eat healthy before you go, make and take a healthy alternative for everyone there, take tastes, not gobs and ask yourself whether what you are eating is worth the consequences both mentally and physically.
- Find one small thing to work on and change it. Sometimes the “big picture” is like an elephant on your chest and causes more problems. Make smaller, more manageable changes to start with.
- When you experience setbacks, remind yourself that everyday is a new day and a new start.
- Keep in mind that where you are today did not happen overnight and where you want to be will take time as well.
- The journey will have ups and downs, but you can do this and if you need help, ask for it. Talk with your healthcare provider and discuss options available to you for your personal situation.
- Being perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be-everyone is allowed mistakes, just learn from them.
These ideas are appropriate year round so you may consider incorporating them into New Year’s Resolutions if you are so inclined.
This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.