Wednesday, 26 December 2012
The seasons of dieting tend to go like this: feel guilty/crash diet from November-February. March-April consists of trying to lose winter fat for spring break. And then May-October is trying to maintain the summer body.
But let's focus on November-February, the holiday season. We already made it through Thanksgiving and Hannukah, but there's still Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve and the abundance of chocolate available for Valentine's Day (whether you're single or not - there's always chocolate there for support).
I want to talk about making peace with your body during this time. Because unless you have adapted a strict, all year round, healthy diet (in which case, good for you), many of us fall to the temptations of the holidays. I know that I personally cannot resist my mother's baking and holiday cookies.
So instead of making ourselves feel guilty about these foods that we've eaten since childhood, or attempt unhealthy crash diets in between the holidays, I think we should just accept the foods we want to eat. They come by once a year, and we might as well enjoy them.
After spending four months abroad in Italy, I've realized the importance of enjoying the food you eat; there's no reason to feel guilty about it. But the Italians also understand portion control, something we, as Americans, need to get better at.
Eat those Reindeer cookies, but don't finish the entire batch by yourself. Try the classic "eat when you're hungry, stop when you're not" approach; it'll allow you to eat your favorite foods without overindulging. This method helps prevent further weight gain, while allowing you to eat your favorite holiday treats. You can also put your leftovers in a baggie and eat it the next day!
While baking, try some healthy substitutions; egg whites instead of eggs, cooking spray as opposed to butter at the bottom of a pan and incorporate some whole wheat flour with the regular kind. There's also no reason to taste check every cookie in the batch - refrain from licking your batter bowls and having a "quick taste" of cookie dough.
Exhibit some self-control, but also feel free to eat the holiday treats. There's no reason to miss out on your favorite foods; and there's definitely no reason to feel guilty about it. Make peace with your holiday self!
Are you opening up to your favorite holiday treats this winter? What will you be eating?