With the cold chill of fall officially here and the start of the holiday season in full gear, let the bells of indulgence ring! Indulgence in spending, indulgence in ego, but especially indulgence in eating…. And not just eating larger amounts than usual, but eating more portions of rich caloric foods that are more easily justified to indulge in during these 3 months. And then when you add the indulgence of more alcohol into the scene—WATCH OUT! There usually will be an indulgence avalanche followed by an aftermath of unintentional weight gain and mind ridden with guilt….
JUST SAY “NO!” If you are already full or actually don’t really care for a particular food, politely decline. This may annoy loved ones, but make a continuing effort to set the tone of limitation.
I apologize for being the Scrooge every year—but this is the most common (and predictable) time when half my practice suddenly disappears and then surfaces when all things around are gay and in bloom except themselves. Indulgence during the holiday season is the trigger to a domino effect of negativity. With the extra pounds follows increased blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugars, depression and elevated levels of stress hormones, and musculoskeletal pain due to more pressure being put on the joints. I truly feel for each patient for I have been to “the dark side” many a time myself. And this is why I have compiled a few tips to help one fight the temptations over this trying season of indulgence.
- Try to eat a little something before gatherings so a famished stomach doesn’t inhale all things fattening on the table. And once you are at the party, strategically position yourself FAR AWAY from the food table so as not to be near a constant source of temptation.
- Drink more water. Anything else you imbibe will certainly be more caloric and coupled with extra-calorie tidbits.
- If you must indulge in treats mind your portions. Split desserts with loved ones…. I don’t really advise to take doggy bags. I rather you not have the extra calories that you courageously spared at the moment follow you home for sinning later.
- Become accustomed to “checks & balance”. If you know you are going to cheat in the food department one day, deprive yourself with less healthy foods during the week following up to the event.
In all honesty, all the above suggestions should be maintained year-round—but especially during the holiday season. This the season to be jolly AND healthy!
No excuses. If you were on a pretty regular exercise regime during the warm months, don’t use the cold months to slack. A suddenly less active body is inviting trouble for the holiday season of indulgence. I have found that “buddying up” with others for exercising is a nice method to keep one another in check.