The holidays are here, and the temptation to overeat is everywhere. Unfortunately, because everyone is doing it, it becomes much easier to give in. So is there any way to help stop this sort of behavior? Some have recommend that getting a life coach could be the answer.
Not only does having a life coach help keep you motivated, but more importantly, they help keep you accountable. According to this article, one of the main reasons why people hire life coaches is so that they remain committed to their goals and don’t just give up so quickly. The article points out that they can help you “Develop better habits so that you have more structure and discipline in your life.”
Tips From A Life Coach
“One way to prevent overeating at meals and parties is to have healthy snacks during the day to prevent getting too hungry” says life coach Alexa Kippler. “Heading out to a holiday party? Drink plenty of water and/or eat a snack to help avoid the high calorie party food. Snacks don’t have to pack on the calories and ruin your weight loss plan.”
The holidays are a great time of year for friends, family, and fun, but they also present 6 weeks of opportunities to overeat overly-fattened, under-nutritious food. The typical American gains 5-8 pounds during the holidays – equal to about 20,000 excess calories, or 550 extra calories per day. Whew!
How does this happen?
The holidays are a perfect storm for overconsumption: multiple festive occasions; a wide variety of high-fat, high-sugar, low-fiber foods; plenty of alcohol or other high calorie, zero nutrition drinks; lots of social interaction; and our evolutionary propensity to intestinally process big meals quickly so we can eat another one as soon as possible.
So what to do to minimize the damage?
Fill up on fiber first: start early – a day or two beforehand, add several extra servings of cereal to your meals. You’ll feel more full and less able to overeat.
Court inconvenience: keep the fatty foods and wine as far away from you on the table as possible so you won’t just reach over and add more.
Be choosy: if there’s something you don’t really love, skip it altogether. Aunt Myrtle won’t notice or remember that you didn’t take any of her famous fruitcake.
Make your own contribution healthier: you can make the traditional green beans healthy instead of drowned in cream of mushroom soup.
Substitute smartly: for stuffing, use whole wheat bread and add lots of vegetables, fruits, and nuts, use liquid vegetable oils instead of butter, and low-sodium, low-fat broth; for mashed potatoes, use low-fat buttermilk instead of cream; for desserts, use applesauce when possible instead of oil.
Savor your meal slowly, then get up: enjoy what you eat, try to finish your meal last, then start cleaning up.
Dilute your drinks: add water or seltzer to wine or liquor, alternate water and alcohol at parties; skip the egg nog.
Damage control starts the next morning: get back on the fiber train so you feel full and are less likely to dive deeply back into the leftovers.
Nible not: or at least pair a treat with a healthy companion.
OK, there you have it, a guide to limiting the damage during the holidays. Set a goal to be no more than 2 or 3 pounds heavier on January 2nd than you were on November 27th. But enjoy yourself! Take joy in the season, not just in the food.
Thanksgiving is next week, and now is the time to begin pulling out your family’s favorite recipes. They all sound good, taste great, …and likely add more fat, carbs and calories than we need in a week. If you are trying to lose weight, do you have to give up good tasting Thanksgiving dishes? Not necessarily.
One option to consider is vegetarian recipes for part – or all – of your Thanksgiving meal. Of course, vegetarian food doesn’t guarantee weight loss. As with any food, you have to watch overall calories and portion sizes. However, because a vegetarian diet typically includes less saturated fat and emphasizes more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based proteins, what you do eat may be more filling and have less calories. “And be sure to include a walk during the day to help offset the calories” recommends life coach Jim Adams.