Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday & AnyDay Survival: Managing a Party!

Fill up on laughter and wonder-filled conversations!

The holiday party season is in full swing leading to Hanukah and Christmas with hardly a break before New Year's. If you work in an office or a school, you have been bombarded daily with candy canes, cookies and pot luck buffets. You might think that this is the worst time of the year to be losing weight or to start losing weight, but that's not true. Start humming, "It's the most wonderful time of the year" because there is no off-season to restore your health. And yes, you can enjoy the holiday parties without gaining weight with Mindful Eating. Notice I did not say starving or deprivation, simply by eating mindfully.

Print these basic food strategies and carry around in your pocket or purse:
1. Eat by choice, not chance. When invited to an event, ask about the food options. Don't rush to the party from work; tired, hungry and willing to eat whatever is there, That's a set up to over eat.
2. Eat before you arrive at an event. That takes the edge off hunger so you can make mindful choices.
3. Decide that you will stay on plan as closely as possible. If you miss a meal or overeat, then get back on schedule the same day.
4. If you see a special holiday food or other traditional food that you really want to taste, don't walk away angry and feel deprived. It is your choice and right now, you are choosing to get down to your healthy weight and that food choice will get in your way! You know what it tastes like, you have had it before and can have it again ... just "not right now." 

5. Feel the power of just saying "No Thank you." If you must partake, then place one tablespoon (not serving spoon) or one bite of the food on your plate. Walk away to eat it. 
6. Avoid your worst trigger foods. Yes, there may be some foods that you don't need to start eating because it leads to a binge. For some of us, sugar is as much of a slippery slope as one drink is to an alcoholic. 
7. At cocktail parties, ask for sparkling water with lime twist. You can also follow the lead of one of my clients who replaced her evening cocktail with an Infuser in water, served in elegant stemware.
8. Learn cues for portion sizes (see below)
9. Use a dessert plate or smaller plate for foods at the buffet table. If you have to use the larger plate, arrange food so there is a 1-2" rim around the edge that is not filled with food. Studies show that people tend to eat more when using larger plates without thinking about what they are doing.
10. Make time daily for 30 minutes of exercise. If you can't fit in time at the gym, tennis or outdoor sports, find ways to exercise at home or office by walking, stair climbing, biking, dancing or an exercise video routine.
11. Say "no" when the time demands become stressful and you are cheating sleep time to do more. Your body must have sleep to renew, maintain a healthy immune system and support weight loss efforts.

Portion Cues:
Baseball = 1 cup
Rounded handful = 1/2 cup
Golf ball = 1/4 cup
Single dice = 1 teaspoon 
4 dice = 1 ounce cheese
Deck of cards = 3 ounces meat or poultry
Checkbook = 3 ounces fish

As a final recommendation, feel free to stuff yourself with lively conversation, take second helpings of laughter and focus more on people around the table than the food on the table!

No comments:

Post a Comment