Get Those Festival Kilos Off
With emotions running high, friends and family around and the air crackling with the festive spirit – the holiday season can ironically seem to be devilishly tempting you to throw your diet maintenance out of the window.
Though it may seem as if the temptation to overeat is all wrapped up in those besan ke laddoos or that shammi kebab, just being around more scrumptious food isn't the whole story. One recent study indicates that, for most of us, the drive to overeat at any time of the year is governed more by emotion than environmental cues. Further, they found that people whose overeating is triggered by emotions tend to have a harder time losing weight and maintaining weight loss.
Much like music can evoke memories, so can certain foods stir up memories, plus, the olfactory sense is a direct path to the brain, according to experts. So sometimes, even the smell of a certain holiday dish can evoke an emotional response that ultimately sends one back to the buffet table more times then they even realize.
Research shows that most adults gain a few kilos over the holidays, lose one or two of those added kilos, however they usually hold onto at least one kilo each year. This slow and steady weight creep finds most adults overweight by middle age!
Not a very festive fact – though it is not necessary to equate ‘holidays’ with ‘weight gain’. There are smart ways of keeping a check on your weight, and making sure the holidays progress with all the fun and gaiety possible. Here’s a quick peek at such slimming tips:
- Keep up your regular physical activity and make sure to get in a good workout on the day of the party or event. NO excuses!
- Be super-diligent on non-party days by sticking closely to your eating plan.
- Eat a small, nutritious snack before leaving for the party. This helps to take the edge off of your appetite and gives you willpower to resist starters, saving your calories for the meal.
- Offer to bring a healthy dish, one you know you can enjoy without lots of extra calories.
- Buy yourself a fabulous holiday outfit that makes you look great and celebrates your recent weight loss. Basic solid colors with clean lines are the most flattering.
- Ladies can carry a clutch handbag that will keep one hand occupied, reducing the urge to nibble.
- Wear a comfortable yet tight outfit that will not allow you to overindulge.
- Watch your alcohol calories – they add up fast. Alternate alcoholic beverages with non-calorie beverages such as sparkling water.
- Look over all the food offerings before you decide what you are going to eat. If there are foods that you love, though you know they are decadently rich, just sample a tasting portion. Like Joey says in the sitcom Friends, “Once on your lips, forever on your hips!”
- Use a smaller plate (the dessert plate is good). This tip can help you reduce the total amount you eat as long as you don't go back for seconds.
- Eat slowly and savor every bite.
- Don't linger around the food table! Move to another location that is less tempting.
- Always sit down while you eat.
- Portion control and moderation are the keys to success. Keep telling yourself why you will not take a second helping of that biryani – self talk is actually recommended by experts!
Even with such care, your best laid plans can still go awry around "food pushers" – friends, family members, and co-workers who refuse to take "no" for an answer when they're offering fattening treats. Learn the ‘broken record technique’, saying ‘No’ everytime they offer some more of the ‘devil’s cake’.
If you cannot refuse, take it – and then dump at the first chance you get, without getting caught. Just because it is on your plate, does not mean you have to have it. And stick to such a plan, instead of letting the holiday fever take over you.
Thus, the holiday season can be a real testing time for one who is inclined to be a foodie. Playing tug-of-war with your emotions on the one hand and good sense on the other can be quite taxing. The fruits of your sticking to your diet plan will show when you won’t have those extra kilos to lose as a resolution for the next year!
Read more articles on Festival Fever
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Feb 01, 2012
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