Remember this game we played as kids? Which of these words does not fit with the rest? Pie, stuffing, holiday, self-control, cookies.
If you’re like many people, self-control is the last thing you think about on Thanksgiving or Christmas day. Yet most have a love/hate relationship with holiday food: it only comes around once a year (and it’s just so good!), but it wreaks havoc on their waistlines. It doesn’t have to be a hopeless cycle; here are some ways you can have your fruitcake and eat it too.
Usually even when everyone fills their plates to the max, there are still plenty of leftovers to be divvied up and brought home. Why not make the meal a marathon instead of a mad dash? If you will be hanging around for the day, take some of your favorites during the main dinner, and leave the rest for later. Or take small spoonfuls of each at first, and then have the same small helping later in the afternoon.
If the weather is nice, grab some loved ones and hit the pavement for a brisk walk around the block. After a large meal when you feel sluggish and fatigued and every (multiplying) ounce in your body is dragging you to the couch, you would actually be better served by getting up and moving. A 10-15 minute walk on a full stomach boosts metabolism, causing your body to handle the food better and feel more energetic.
But we all know it’s not just the holiday itself when we’re tempted to overeat; the cookies, cakes, pies, and candies that people give and receive are always there enticing you to eat just one more. Combat temptation by passing some along. Receive a plate of twenty cookies for just you and your spouse? Why not keep a couple and find someone else to share them with? Neighbors, friends, family, even the employee lounge at work could all be willing recipients.
The bottom line is this: no how-to article on the planet will actually keep you from overindulging. The only way to minimize the guilt and weight gain of this most wonderful time of the year is to exercise (sorry, couldn’t help it) some good old fashioned self-control.