We are in the thick of the holiday season. I was at my husband’s holiday party last night and I witnessed the extra calories everywhere, from the enormous cheese platter to the desserts that were ordered with your dinner (so when your molten chocolate cake arrives after you’ve eaten dinner you won’t want to waste it and will dive right in!). It’s a dilemma: on the one hand you want to celebrate, and on the other you don’t want to gain the one or two pounds that most Americans will put on in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but over the course of time, it certainly adds up.
People who are struggling with weight generally want nothing more than to shed some of it. The self-loathing and all kinds of negative self-talk can be debilitating, and the work to remove the added poundage is hard. It’s that simple.
So as you attend the next holiday soiree, or try to walk past the piles of Christmas cookies in the conference room, consider the following:
- The reason we gain weight is not because we are eating too much fat, it is because we are eating carbohydrates, especially sugar.
- Carbohydrates (breads, cookies, chocolates and treats) create an insulin response that ultimately stores fat on our bodies.
- Alcohol decreases your metabolism by as much as 70%.
- Is moderation okay? Not really, because it’s what we are eating and the cascade of internal responses that create the excess weight gain.
What to do?
First consider why you are going to the party or event. Most likely it is to connect with people, not to overindulge. Walk away from the cookie platter and over to the veggie dip. Stay there! Consider ordering a club soda with lime to sip on instead of a glass of wine. It will satisfy you, look like a vodka drink, and help you keep the metabolism revving. Eat slowly and mindfully. Admire the decorations and count your holiday blessings to be a part of the party or event.
Being aware of the physical and emotional challenges this season and having information and tools to navigate them will help you ring in your new year in a healthier and happier way!