So here you are avoiding holiday weight gain but sipping on SlimFast when everyone else is sitting down to a festive food-laden table just doesn’t do it for you – all you can think about is what you can’t eat. And have you ever noticed how much more food obsessed you become as the holidays approaches? You know how you can practically smell the aromas, how you van feel your spoon dipping into that rich dessert. Naturally those are littered with those thoughts of: “I must be good and remember I’m on diet.”Relax, mercifully there are some tried and tested ways to stay in control and not sabotage your weight loss efforts.Surviving Holiday eating and avoiding holiday weight gain tip no. 1Just for once, free yourself to treat holiday eating as a time to experiment – heck it’s only for a day or so after all. What happens when you give yourself permission to honestly enjoy your holiday eating experience? You see, here’s what we readily forget…just as soon you tell yourself that you can’t eat because it’s ‘forbidden’ or ‘bad for you’ have you noticed how much more desirable it all seems to be?It’s almost as if by making it forbidden – you’ve upped it’s desirability, you can almost feel those tastebuds salivating! But allow yourself permission to relax and enjoy and you’ll be amazed at what happens. Because here’s a universal eating secret…. humans push back against anything that feels forbidden (we seem to be pulled automatically towards wanting what is forbidden) and holiday dieting does precisely that.
‘Allowing’ allows you to be much more relaxed around all that food.Surviving Holiday eating and avoiding holiday weight gain no. 2Don’t build holiday eating up into this big nightmarish thing. Remember the law of attraction: think ‘I dread holiday eating’ and tell everyone you meet: “All that food on holidays just does me in” and viola, you’ll produce ‘I dread’ and ‘food that does you in’ circumstances. Instead, tell yourself (and others) that holiday eating is something you look forward to. (Ok, now I’ll be the first to admit that if you’ve always pigged out at the holiday table, this may seem like bad advice….but don’t stop reading just yet)Next, set yourself a few goals, play a few games with yourself at the holiday feast. Instead of doing your usual and tying to see how much food you can fit onto your plate, see how beautifully you can arrange a smaller amount. Instead of specializing in wolfing everything down in nanoseconds, challenge yourself to see if you can be the last person to finish because you’re so busy really tasting and enjoying every mouthful.Before reaching to take a single morsel of food, take a moment visually take in the whole scene. How does the table look? How does the atmosphere feel? What sounds can you hear that usually wouldn’t be there? Which people are around that make you glad to have in your life?Surviving Holiday eating and avoiding holiday weight gain tip no. 3Now tune into the food itself… What mixture of colors are present? How do the colors of the food on this plate change dependent on which holiday it is? Do you associate different colors with different holidays and holiday foods? Now what is there on offer that just looks like you have to have some? If you could choose only four items to put on your plate, which would they be and why? Try limiting yourself to those….BUT…. and this is the trick… remind yourself you can always come back for others, but you’re going to allow yourself to enjoy these first.Surviving Holiday eating and avoiding holiday weight gain no. 4Don’t dig in immediately. First take a tip of your wine or whatever beverage you have and enjoy how it feels as it hits your mouth and then slips down your throat – enjoy the flavours and sensations. Remind yourself that this is going to be a good eating experience and that you can stay relaxed and chilled out about it. Turn to your neighbour and comment on the food or express something you’re grateful for. This may have something to do with food and eating, but then again, it may not.
Now’s a really good time to turn your attention to your plate itself. Out of the items on it, which one is the one that beckons you the most? Start with it, take a mouthful and take your attention into your mouth – is it every bit as fabulous as you’d hoped?Surviving Holiday eating and avoiding holiday weight gain tip no. 5Put down your knife and fork in between each and every mouthful. And don’t be at all surprised if you find this incredibly difficult to do. We’re so used to eating like a hare instead of a tortoise, so this really is a chance to experiment with a habit that’s great to get into. Chew slowly extracting as much flavour as possible. There’s no rush. Savour the moment of eating with en-joy-ment.Don’t allow some silly diet to get in the way of enjoying holiday eating – it should be a time to celebrate the wonder and jot of eating. For much much more on sensible and sustainable weight loss visit the ditch diets live light website.
Cari Corbet-Owen, is an ex yo-yo dieter, eating disorder survivor and psychologist whose views have been features in many magazines, on radio and TV programs. Cari is the author of: ‘The Joy-Filled Body,’ ‘Mind over Fatter,’ and ‘Mom, pass the Broccoli. If you like practical and simple solutions to your eating and body woes, you’ll find much more from Cari at web: ditch-diets-live-light .com and you can sign up for her newsletter and freebies web: ditch-diets-live-light .com/allforms.html