To Beat The Holiday Weight Gain Blues: Know Thyself
By Tammy LeBoss | thefitprofoodie.com
Part 1 of 2
Are you ready for the holiday season?
Are you prepared for the eating challenges it brings with it? While some of us may seek out the fun and festivities, others may feel obligated to attend parties where sinful feasts and sweets tempt us to overeat. Consequently, many of us will deal with the dreaded holiday weight gain. Studies show that on average, people gain 5–10 unwanted pounds during this time of year. And of those who are dieting, 95 percent of these individuals will gain their weight back. Why is weight gain so prevalent this time of year?
The key to beating these scary statistics is to know thyself.
What this means is understanding what type of eater you are: Are you an all-or-nothing type of eater? Or, or are you more of a ‘Sensible Sam or Susie’ eater personality? If you fall under the category of all-or-nothing, the following is recommended:
1. Ditch deprivation (for the all-or-nothing person)
One of the most common mistakes the all-or-nothing individual makes during the holidays is that they deprive themselves. They starve themselves and skip meals so they can indulge on a big holiday feast later. This is the typical unhealthy dieter’s mindset and will lead to failure. This type of unhealthy thinking will also cause us to miss out on enjoying a variety of delicious foods.
Many people skip breakfast or not eat all day in an attempt to save their caloric points for later. This logic is backwards. The all-or-nothing mindset backfires for two main reasons. It promotes undesirable unstable blood sugars, and under-eating slows the metabolism. It may sound counter intuitive, but do not deprive yourself during the holidays. Psychologically, we all need to treat or reward ourselves on occasion, and these moderated rewards can encourage the willpower to stay on a healthy course.
2. Add variety (for the Sensible Sam & Susie type eaters)
We all know this type, the sensible eater type personality. Typically, this type of eater will eat only ‘healthy’ foods, they may be gung-ho about paleo, or they may be devoted vegans. Or, perhaps you fall under this category yourself? If you or someone you know does, it’s likely that you’re depriving your body of a complete profile of nutrients. Studies show for example, that most vegans lack the proper building blocks required to build a healthy body.
Did you know that incorporating a variety of foods can broaden the array of nutrients available to your body? This season, try to let go of finicky food preferences, and you may discover enjoyment of new and delicious healthier food options. Try a variety of colors, textures and flavors. Variety can increase optimization of nutrient uptake, fuel the body with energy, and improve overall health. Furthermore, guess what happens when the body is getting all the nutrients it needs? It’s less likely to undergo cravings! Regardless of what your fitness goals are or what your body type is, you’d be wise to expand your food preferences. The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to try new foods, perhaps foods that you didn’t think you’d like.
Try a new veggie dish such as caramelized brussel sprouts, or an omega-3 rich protein source such as salmon or halibut. Offer to bring a colorful and festive organic salad, or bring a healthy gluten-free berry dessert to your festivities. On your plate, create a ‘sampler platter’ consisting of a variety of real food options. Be sure to limit the processed stuff as much as you’re able.
To avoid the holiday weight-gain blues, remember this:
the psychology of deprivation will only lead to binging and cravings later.
You can avoid this pitfall by allowing yourself occasional treats — whether this is in the form of a cheat meal or a holiday feast. Reward yourself for your hard work on your fitness plan. And remember, it’s not cheating when you’re giving the body and mind what they need: Real food. Real nutrition.
Beat the holiday blues. Know thyself. Make it an adventure. Keep unwanted pounds off by ditching deprivation. Allow yourself to enjoy but within reason. :)