by Harvey Bond
(Chicago, Illinois, USA)
The holidays are delightful in so many ways, but sometimes they can also be the beginning of an overeating binge that leaves you exhausted, lethargic and guilt-ridden when the New Year rolls around. More than likely, you try one of the starvation diet plans to lose some of those unwanted pounds.
By the time you turn the calendar to February, you’re burned out on the diet and your body aches with feelings of deprivation. The first time you come in contact with the foods you love, you’re likely to binge on them and the pounds begin to creep back on – adding a few extra, of course.
It doesn’t have to be this way – overeating during the holidays, starving yourself to lose the pounds after the New Year, and then bingeing to satisfy the cravings that come from depriving yourself.
So, what to do when you’re invited to holiday parties, dinners and celebrations?
Here are a few pointers to avoid overeating during the holidays:
* Eat before the celebration. Most of us starve ourselves all day so we can “pig out” at the party. To avoid overeating, try eating during the day. Five or six small meals are best – and eat those foods that really satisfy hunger, such as fruits and veggies.
* Exercise regularly. It’s easy to skip exercise when your life is a whirlwind of activity around the holiday season. Exercise will help to even out the extra intake of calories you may consume.
* Limit alcohol consumption. The old trick of carrying around a glass with sparkling water and a twist of lime keeps everyone from trying to give you an alcoholic beverage. You don’t have to completely give up the bubbly, but quit after a glass.
* Ward off depression. The holidays are typically a time when people become depressed and think about the past, whether good or bad. Drinking too much alcohol can bring on depression as can overeating binges.
· Share food gifts. You may receive lots of food gifts from friends and family that include chocolates, wine and a wide range of other goodies. It’s best to share these gifts if you can. But do save some for yourself – just monitor how much you eat and know when to stop.
Rather than continuously eating during the holidays, plan some activities that you’ll all enjoy. For example, play games with the family for a fun-filled evening and pop some low calorie popcorn for a snack.
Take the gang on a brisk walk before or after holiday meals. You’ll feel better, and it may begin a tradition you’ll want to keep.