Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Don't Fear the Holidays- Enjoy them! Don't deprive yourself! Stay fit and Trim this season!

I have received a request to give some input on alternatives to the "good stuff" during the holidays. I am going to go a little more in depth than that, and provide you with some crucial information and statistics that might help you out this time around, and hopefully every holiday season from now on. From reading my previous blogs, you know that the one thing I am against is deprivation. It is all about portion control and replacing a decent amount of the junk with healthy alternatives that will leave you satisfied and not wanting more. You can eat what other people are eating, but I am going to show you how to eat less, and stay full and substitute some of that junk food you know isn't good to have all the time. There are indeed healthy alternatives to take the edge off that Holiday "I need to eat sweets" feeling.

Everybody I know talks about the Holidays and how it is virtually impossible to keep off the pounds during the season. From Halloween to New Years, American's gain an average of 5 pounds or more. It doesn't have to be this way, don't let yourself be the statistic. Another major factor in this is that once someone puts on a pound or two (especially toward the end of the year), they get the "well, I'll just wait until New Years for my resolution and I'll lose the weight then" excuse. It is a vicious cycle, and the saddest part is, this coming New Year turns into next New Year and the next, and the next, etc. People have good intentions, but they self sabotage and then find excuses so they don't feel bad for giving up on their weight loss goals.

Let's start with Halloween. CANDY. You are not alone, I LOVE candy. And it's okay. 2 or 3 fun sized pieces of halloween candy a few times a week or even once a day if you are at a healthy weight is NOT going to hurt you.
One big thing that I am opposed to is depriving children. Please, don't be one of those parents I get angry at and completely deprive your children of the candy or sugar entirely. The 2 main types of parents that deprive their children of sugar and goodies are: 1. They don't want it around them, because they feel like they will gain weight, so it's better for it not to be around AT ALL, and 2. They blame sugar for making children hyper, when it is physiologically proven to NOT play a role in ADHD or hyperactivity in children and young adults. It is also proven that children who are completely deprived of sugar when growing up will act out with emotional eating and become overweight OR feel that they do not deserve good food and it is possible to develop an eating disorder later on life (primarily females). One thing I am grateful for is that my mom never deprived me growing up. She let me have what I wanted, as long as I ate the good stuff first. I see children on a daily basis that are deprived by their parents and they act out aggressively, and also binge on sweets when they have the opportunity away from their parents, neither i a good thing, apparently. Seriously guys, no need to deprive your child, the long term effects will only harm them, and you. Allow them a couple pieces of candy every night or two, AFTER they eat a healthy and balanced dinner. Make it a reward, not an all the time thing or a means to "shut up" or your child. (The main reason for childhood obesity, tomorrow's topic). Throw a piece into their lunch box as a treat during the day. It will not hurt, and it will show them that the occasional piece of candy is not going to harm them. So be good to yourself and your kids, it is okay to have candy in moderation, it won't hurt, but make it a reward, not a given, and not until the healthy food is eaten first.

Thanksgiving- I personally don't believe going all out on a holiday dinner is bad for you. Everybody deserves to splurge every once in a while, no matter what size you are. But if you are making it a habit during the holidays, and over indulging in the left overs, it becomes a problem. Remember portion control. Do not let your foods touch each other on the plate. That will assure smaller portion sizes. Resist seconds. Take a sip of water after every bite or two, that will help fill you up faster, and ice water is actually proven to speed up the metabolism. Avoid the crust of your holiday pies. 1/8th of a pie's bottom crust contains on average about 150 calories, so if there is top and bottom crust, that is 300 unnecessary calories. Attempt to use real fruit, and look for some healthy real fruit cobblers and desserts instead. There are a ton of recipes out there. I'm here to give you the advice, not give you step by step instructions on how to make and what to eat food-wise, so do the foot work.

*Take a walk with the family after meals. Holiday or not. That promotes exercise for the entire family. As I have said before, it is recommended that healthy adults get at least 30 minutes (new recommended is 60 minutes) of moderate activity at least 5 times a week. Don't be lazy, and don't let the turkey get the best of you. You will feel better once you get moving, and burn of some of those extra calories. 1/48th to 1/24th of your day is worth being healthy and fit, don't you think?

Christmas- here we go. Candy, sweets, cookies, pie, junk, junk, junk! From sweets at the office, at school, and at home, it is next to impossible to avoid, or is it? Resist baking during the holidays. If you are having company over, make just enough for them and one serving for you and your family. There is no need to make 3 dozen cookies, and have 2 dozed left over to just stare at you all day long. I'm making sense right? Go buy a pie or a set amount of desserts for guests or for the special occasion. Having left over sweets and high-calorie foods around the house is the biggest issue for people with a sweet tooth attempting to maintain or not gain any weight, especially during the holidays. Keep some trail mix around the house, the kind with chocolate chips is great. Have a handful of then if the other members of your house are eating something sweet and you know that you've already over done it. It will take the edge of the sweet tooth, and fill you up, not to mention provide you with some awesome omega-3s and such. I love Trader Joe's "Happy Trekking" trail mix. 1/4 cup has 160 calories, but if you pay attention to the serving size, it is a good little snack to take the edge of that "I need to fit in my eating junk food" feeling. The trail mix, Flavored yogurts, Jell-O 100 calorie pudding cups (my favorite guilt free snack), etc. are great things to keep on hand while at work, school or other places that you know you are going to be bombarded with temptation. Don't be hard on yourself. If you want to have a cookie or a small piece of pie, it's OK. But you have to remember that it is a treat, a reward, not a multiple time a day treat. Maybe a few times a week. And on the days where you want to be good, carry along your other snacks that will fulfill the cravings you will probably have while seeing other people eat sweets. You don't have to deprive yourself, just eat it in moderation, and if you do have weight loss goals, incorporate those treats into your daily calories. And if people give you See's candy (I know I got like 5 boxes last year), share it, and limit yourself. The box will be there tomorrow, no need to eat the whole thing in a night or two. a few pieces a night to treat yourself after a healthy dinner is sufficient. Don't go overboard because it's there. If it is that big of a temptation, remove it from your house. If you really struggle with weight sometimes you can be triggered, especially if a smaller member of the family or friend is able to indulge a little more than you, that's why having your "sweet & healthy" snacks are key to success.
Don't forget to stay active during the Holidays and don't forget your fruits and veggies and a substitute for the sweets that everyone else is eating- yogurt, pudding, trail mix, but one or two pieces of fun sized candy won't hurt! Be good to yourself, and remember that "Everything is good in Moderation". Don't deprive yourself or your children. Maintain a healthy environment for them and yourself. Enjoy the Holidays, don't fear them. More to come on this topic because I know it is a battle for people of all shapes and sizes. <3

1 comment:

  1. Great article Jill! You brought in new points and suggestions that really make sense! Two thumbs up =)