Despite the pandemic that we are currently trying to outlast at the moment, the holiday season is just coming up as fast. For weeks, a bunch of magazines and newspapers have been printing recipes and alluring photographs of rich, mouth-watering goodies such as cookies, candies, dips, and calorie-laden drinks. You would even see your friends doing a lot of online selling on these goodies in preparation for the upcoming holidays.
Then, in the same issue, they offer guidance on how not to eat all this stuff. Pace yourself, they advise. Limit yourself to probably a piece every half-hour; to eat a salad before going to a cocktail party, so that you wont be tempted by all the snacks. Yeah, right – like my inner brat is going to forego the fondue because I pre-loaded with lettuce!
Nutrition experts tell us that on average, people gain 5-7 lb. during the holiday season. That is simply because it’s hard to resist all the treats, especially when we’re faced with them in ads and displays, as well as on counter tops at home, at work and when visiting.
Our inner brat nags at us, whining that we really do “need” that extra helping of pie. Or it rationalizes that a couple of sushi bake, ube pandesal or bibingka don’t add up to much, and that we can exercise a little more later.
Controlling your eating is difficult at this quarter of year. No one is exempted, not even the best of bodybuilders and fitness athletes. To “just say no” is a good strategy for occasional temptations, but it doesn’t work when you’re bombarded with images, aromas and offerings of one treat after another.
Also Read: Holidays and Diets, Can They Get Along?
Honestly, self-control is really mentally draining. When you repeatedly say “no” to treats, you gradually deplete your mental energy. That’s why most people fall off their diets later in the day, when their strength to resist is at a low point.
A better solution: not confronting the yes/no question in the first place. The secret is to limit your exposure to temptation. So here’s some of my quick tips:
- Store treats in the back of a cupboard or fridge. Wrap them in opaque paper or plastic, so that you don’t easily notice them.
- If there are goodies out on counters or desks at work, reroute yourself so that you don’t walk by.
- Avoid reading recipes for calorie-laden foods. When you see photos of cakes and other desserts in magazines, turn the page quickly. Less exposure is less temptation!
- If you go to business-related holiday cocktail parties, resolve to visit the buffet table only once. If possible, stay no more than half an hour.
- While staying safe, spend some time outside every day. Nature helps clear your head, so that your cravings are less noticeable.
- And finally, get more sleep. Not only will you get the usual benefits of being more alert and less irritable, but research shows that people who sleep more have a better balance of the hormones that regulate hunger – and they weigh LESS than those who don’t get enough sleep!
Hope this help! Let’s face the upcoming pandemic version of holidays with less worry about too much weight gain!