As we approach the holiday season, this is a time when many of us succumb to the temptation of food. With all the parties and holiday festivities, what is one to do? Many of us realize how weak we are when faced with the socialization of eating. All of the parties focus around one thing- having a good time with foods and spirits. What better time to help you through the Holidays with some useful hints to give you back control and the will power to say NO!
- Use a cocktail plate. Put all you want on the plate at once and do not go back for seconds under any circumstances.
- Stay away from the buffet line. Find a table as far away as possible… and that means the dessert table, too!
- Never go to an event hungry. Eat a piece of fruit or drink 16 ounces of water before you arrive. Raw vegetables can be very filling, add a little dressing for favor.
- Eat a salad first and give it time to digest and expand in your stomach before you go for themain entrée. The greens can be very filling.
- Never say “I am on a diet.” Say, “I’m full” or “I ate before I came.”
- Avoid alcohol since it contains false calories, meaning it is full of sugar but doesn’t make you feel full. Drink tonic water or sugar free soda. No one will know the difference.
- Stand throughout the event. Avoid sitting near food. You will burn more calories standing and moving about.
- Dance! If the opportunity arises, take advantage of it. This is a great form of exercise. Even if you are not a great dancer, your friends will be so intoxicated they won’t even notice.
- Wear the tightest pants or dress you have. Now don’t be tacky; but the pressure on your stomach will be a reminder you can’t pig out.
- Eat slowly, and don’t mindlessly eat while you talk to friends. For every bite of food you take in, drink at least eight ounces of water. Water is very filling.
- Wear a girdle or (for you men) take up your belt a notch or two. Remember, the goal is to look good – not like you wore last year’s outfit. This will make it uncomfortable to sit, and the standing will burn more calories and keep you moving.
- Don’t starve yourself all day before the party. Eat many little small meals all day long, then something 30 minutes prior to the party.
- Follow the B.S. rule. Eat baked, broiled or steamed – not fried.
- Go for the nuts and raw veggies if the party is mostly finger foods. Avoid the cheese dips and heavy sauces. And remember: what you put on your plate is all you take in. Forgo the habit of grazing -you are not a cow!
- If you are going to eat at a restaurant, start by asking for a to-go plate, and place half your entrée in the box. The other option is to share with your spouse or date. Make sure you tell him/her your plans ahead of time… you don’t want to appear cheap!
Let self-talk be your guide. What I mean is, you don’t have to lose, but you choose to lose. Learn to love yourself and others, not food. Your appetite is emotional. Learn to take control over your emotions, not have them control you. If you mess up, don’t be too hard on yourself; just regroup. Tomorrow is a new day filled with new challenges. Remember: You can succeed with all the temptations of the season. Have a great Holiday!
Dr. Dent is the creator of the “Synergy System,” a wellness and weight loss program that promotes metabolic and hormonal balance. With weight loss centers in Columbia, Florence, and Sumter, SC, Dr. Dent’s program has helped patients from all across South Carolina meet their weight loss goals and improve their overall wellness.