‘Tis the holiday season with all its joy, excitement and, of course, food, food, and more food of every type. So for many who want to eat healthy it can be a hard time. There are parties, family celebrations, restaurant meals and desserts galore. It’s no surprise you may wonder, how can I get through the holidays without my calorie-laden old favorites?
You can and you will if you have support and a solid plan. And the good news you will still enjoy the holidays and especially the day after. Equating the holiday celebrations with food, we tend to think about baking sugary fattening pies and cookies, candy canes on the tree, stuffing the turkey, etc. Perhaps you have some cheery memories tied to those sugar-laden foods. However, you probably have also seen the flip side of what sugar and super calorie foods can do and it's not pretty!
What if, this year, after New Year’s Day you have NOT gained five or more pounds or feel sick after indulging in unhealthy foods? Imagine feeling proud of yourself after the holidays instead of guilty and sad. Yes, you can accomplish this! Here are important tips to guide you through the happy days of the holidays without added pounds:
Plan your meal ahead of time and remind family members and friends (kindly) not to bring unhealthy foods into your home. Remember your home is your safe zone where you do not have temptations all around you.
Create new memories during the holidays that don’t just center around food. Have children, family and guests come up with some fun ideas to decorate the holiday table. Put the food away after you have eaten and close the kitchen. Plan fun games that everyone can enjoy. The food is an important part of the celebration; however, it is not the only part. Spending time and connecting with loved ones is the memory to be cherished, not what you have eaten.
Journal and track your progress. Keeping a food diary instantly increases your awareness of what, how much, and why you are eating. This helps you cut down on recreational eating and mindless munching. Food diaries also help people identify areas where they can make changes that will help them lose weight. Food diaries can unveil patterns of overeating. For some people, the very fact that they have to record every bite helps deter overeating, many people often reconsider eating something simply because of not wanting to write it down.
If you are invited to someone’s home, make sure not to arrive very hungry. And ask if it’s okay to bring one of your favorite healthy holiday dishes. Fill up on vegetables and salads.
Explore Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Communities and find valuable support, wisdom and connections.Seek professional help if you are feeling unable to navigate through the holidays on your own. We are here to help and understand that food addiction is powerful and that the holidays are an especially difficult time.
Kathleen Renner, L.C.S.W. is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with significant clinical experience working in the mental health and substance abuse fields. After undergoing further training with Dr. Fuhrman and his clinical team, Ms. Renner has developed a specialty in food addiction counseling. She also has completed Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritional Education Trainer Program (NET). She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, motivating individuals to improve their health. Kathleen has worked with addiction in all age groups and in various settings, including individuals and groups. She holds the title of Food Addictions Counselor in Dr. Fuhrman's SUCCESS Program.
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