Ready for it?

Are you ready for next week?  The start of the holiday marathon of food, food and more food: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Year's, Holiday parties.  It is one of those inevitable situations and it is coming, ready or not. 

There are differing statistics of how much weight people will gain between now and January 1st.  Some studies say Americans typically gain 5- 8 additional pounds each year and others say that it is more like 1 pound per year.  Whatever the number, each year the poundage adds up. This is a season of potential overindulgence.  There are different ways to approach it:

  • Screw it and eat whatever you want.  You can have the attitude that it doesn't matter.  I will eat whatever, whenever I want. In some respects why do we put guilt and limits on ourselves and our appetites?   I know of people who have this attitude.  Unfortunately they are really not happy with their choices because they end up not eating good quality of food. They would probably say they don't even like what they just consumed. It is just a quantity of food because it is there and it really doesn't satisfy them.
  • Monitor and avoid everything.   You can be on the other end of the spectrum and monitor, weigh, limit and avoid all the holiday feasts and imbibing. In doing so you can miss out on the joy of the season.  After all, every culture gathers around food when it celebrates.
  • Moderation.  Be a discriminating connoisseur of food.  Enjoy Grandma's annual pie, co-worker's handmade candy or neighbor's sugar cookies.  Not everything has equal taste and "goodness". Choose the items that taste the best to you.  Skip the store bought pastries sent to the office from the insurance agency. Choose the things that you don't normally eat, make yourself or are just here for the season. Limit how many and how often you eat them.  Take you time in eating. Savor the taste.

If you are prone to overindulge, have a plan this season.  Some suggestions:

  • Make sure you eat breakfast and lunch before your Thanksgiving or other holiday dinners. 
  • Take a walk before or after dinner.
  • Use a smaller plate at any buffet.
  • Drink a glass of water before your meal and drink water during the meal (drink a glass between courses).
  • Eat a lighter or vegetarian meal during the holiday weekend.
  • Take your time as you eat.  Enjoy the conversation and the people around you. 
  • Chew slowly.
  • Say, "No, thank you, couldn't possibly, I am stuffed." If you do not want to insult a host (depends on the relationship), ask if you could take a piece or portion home for later. 

What about you?  Any strategies to prepare for the eating frenzy?  Are you ready for the holidays?