Hey there.. this is coming to you a bit late.. but better late than never they say.. and, well.. I tend to agree. I just know you will find the information here timely, no matter when you find yourself here.
Well, it’s here, and for some us, it has been for a while… the holiday season. What season are you celebrating? Hanukkah, Christmas, pre-Chinese New Year? With all of these, there are treats that we may not see at any other time of year. And there are more treats than we usually see, right?
I often get the question about how to avoid weight gain during this holiday season. How do I resist the treats? I feel deprived when I don’t get to eat the things I want! I’m gonna just go off my diet until the New Year! Yikes!
First of all, I would never suggest that you resist those treats to the point of feeling deprived. Here’s the thing, If we were to eat the entire tray of all the treats we prepared that would be a weigh-gain scenario, for sure, BUT if you were to choose to have a treat AND thoroughly ENJOY every bite, enjoy every moment it was in your mouth… ‘sava the flava, anyone?!!’ then that is entirely a different situation. Think about that, doesn’t that second scenario feel better?
My suggestion to eliminate that feeling of deprivation is to make a choice about what foods to eat and what foods not to eat. Let’s say you are going to a gathering - that one family gathering that you just know Aunt Judy will be at with her Rocky Road Marshmallow Treats. Aunt Judy has been bringing those treats ever since you can remember. It really wouldn’t feel like Christmas without these on the dessert table… AND frankly, with several of them getting into your belly. And you know that you have never been able to leave the party without polishing off at least 4 of them. You also know that, not only does your body feel like crap after you do, you felt guilty with each bite and now you feel guilty cuz you couldn’t stop at one or two, or three…
Oh, but the taste of those soft, sweet marshmallow treats has you salivating just thinking about them. What is a girl to do? [Swoop, Swoop…]
[Enter me... your Health Coach… cape intact…]
You are going to plan, yes PLAN to eat one of those chocolate covered squares of delight. Not only are you going to eat one, you are going to THOROUGHLY enjoy it.
You are going to SAVOUR.EVERY.BITE.
Yup.. that’s exactly how it’s going to go down. There will be no guilt, no shame, just pure enjoyment of all that goodness.
AND, that’s the ticket!! If you are feeling better and without the weight of that guilt (pun kind of intended). It’s that guilt that actually causes our bodies to be in stress mode.
Stress = weight gain.
As that guilt is piling on the stress that stress is piling on the weight.
There are so many ways I could say it. And I’ll keep saying it as long as their are women who need to hear the message.
So, Dear Friend, what part of the Christmas meal or snack festivities creates the most stress for you? I am here for you. I’d love a chance to offer you a different perspective in that area or about that meal or regarding that treat so that you can just enjoy this season with your family.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I know that sometimes just the thought about getting family together can cause your stress to go through the roof. I know that just the people part of the equation is an ENTIRELY different ball of wax. A weird, unpredictable, complicated, messy ball of wax. I really get that. We can talk about that, too…. Today, though I just want to talk about the part that we put in our bodies - the food.
Ok.. I feel better now that I got that out of the way. You?
I really mean it that the food part can be a yummy, glorious, calming , predictable part of our gatherings. Right, the food can be predictable? The people... well, they can’t. Don’t hold it against them. Just feed them, give them turkey, it’ll put them to sleep or send them home early. There that is my #protip for today. It can so steeped in tradition that even missing one seemingly unimportant aspect of it can just throw the whole thing off. So, why do it? Don’t do it, that’s what I say!
Enjoy it STRESS FREE!! Enjoy all AND keep the weight off. For realz!
Now, as you stay with me through this little story, for some of you it may seem like more than just a story, it may seem like a fairytale.
Let me get directly to the point. It’s not WHAT you are eating that determines your waist size, it’s WHO you are being when you are eating.
Now don’t rush past this fact. This is GOLD!
Who are you being, are you rushed, stress, guilty, distracted?
What would it feel like to be calm, relaxed, happy and aware? That would change everything. I think It’s easy to understand how you would benefit physically by just being in this relaxed state. It’s not so easy to ‘get’ the other ways our bodies benefit.
The secret: Slow Down to Speed Up.
Slow down - that’s you, not rushing through the meal, even getting relaxed before you eat.
Speed up - that’s our bodies response to this slowing down, to our bodies relaxing. Our metabolism speeds up and that’s a WIN for the waistline! Now, in THIS moment, your body is running like a nicely stoked fire.
You are calm. You are relaxed. You are tasting your meal. Your body is registering that you are eating. Ahh.. and that’s all it takes.
The rest is easy, right? With your body more relaxed, you are eating slower, no longer ‘rushing’ to the next thing. Even for a few moments. Well, NOW, the cascade of benefits can really be seen and felt. You see, you eat slower, you eat less. Your body is more quickly satiated (funny word, but it’s the best one I can use for this). You eat less, and, well, you know where that can lead. WEIGHT LOSS! That's where. Shedding of those curves that we maybe more curve than you wanted.
Then if you choose my challenge [it’s coming up next] you will also be chewing your food more. More chewing for each bite has the carbs you are eating - tasting sweeter, has your body registering fullness - sooner, and you fully experiencing your meal. Your body is happier - you can digest your food more fully as you amped up your digestion by all that chewing. Then there is the fact that now your body doesn’t have the craving for that food you were wanting and so you eat less of it. See, I told you you were going to want to stick with me as I told this story.
This is where my challenge to you comes in - I promise, it’s an easy challenge - they usually are. Ready? OK, let’s put this all together so you can play along. If you’ve been here for any amount of time, you will notice that I LOVE it when you play along! So, the next time you sit down to your next meal, can I suggest that you just sit and look at your plate, just notice it. Notice the colours, then notice the smells. Then, while you are allowing yourself this experience, use these moments to take some breathes. Yes, do all this BEFORE you even have a bite. Ok, now for the yummy part of this experience. Go ahead, pick up your fork and lift the food to your mouth. It’s doesn’t end there, this mindfulness around eating. Once you have the food in your mouth, chew, go on keep chewing. Just a few more chews now… hmmm… see? Doesn’t it already taste sweeter? And, wait! After a few bites, you will find that this snack / meal has already lasted longer than three of your last meals, combined. You are doing so well, playing along with this slowing down game. [You can thank me later.]
‘K, that’s all it takes. That, right there, is the difference between your body holding on to the weight and weight gain and your body sailing through Christmas the same size as you went into to it.