Five Tips to Curb Thoughtless Eating During Holidays | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 13 December 2012 15:49

121312h1It’s a common scenario that many people often find themselves in: eating and overeating without rhyme or reason.

Because It’s There: The local sandwich shop offers a free holiday candy as you pay for your lunch. A co-worker brings a plate of Christmas fudge to the office. When food is in plain sight, it’s convenient to grab some simply because it’s there.

Be mindful, take personal inventory, and ask yourself if you are truly hungry at that moment. There are times when you may need to remove yourself from the situation or move the temptation out of reach, if necessary.

You Skip Breakfast: It can be difficult to fit a meal into the typical morning rush and especially during the holiday season. But breakfast is considered the “most important meal of the day” for a reason.

People who regularly skip breakfast are nearly five times as likely to be obese than those who don’t. Breakfast provides your body and mind with the fuel necessary to take on the day and get your metabolism out of its resting state and back to burning calories.

Unprocessed, fiber-rich foods like steel-cut or slow-cooked oatmeal, grapefruit, whole-grain and low-sugar cereals, and low-fat dairy are all best bets.

If possible, prepare your breakfast ahead of time or bring your breakfast with you to work if you aren’t able to find the time to eat at home.

You’re Emotional: Emotions are a common eating trigger. You may typically celebrate happy news with a gourmet dinner and dessert, or soothe sadness with a large bowl of ice cream.

Anger or stress can lead to munching on a seemingly bottomless bag of chips. While eating creates a temporary sense of physical fullness, it only temporarily distracts from the feelings that are bothering you.

If you’re celebrating, remember that the occasion is about being with loved ones and creating memories — not about the food. Check in with your hunger level and see if you are actually hungry, or if you’ll be simply satisfied by the company.

You’re Bored: If you know boredom is a trigger for thoughtless eating, have a list of strategies in place to keep yourself busy and entertained when you feel like you don’t have anything else to do.

An activity that occupies your hands is ideal, like giving yourself a manicure, reading a book, playing a game on the computer, or writing in a journal. Go for a walk with a friend and/or with your dog. This will also take you away from the kitchen and should help cravings subside. Or, drink a glass of water, which is filling. Snacking on celery or watermelon or chewing a piece of gum can also help curb appetite.

You Don’t Get Enough Sleep: Lack of sleep, or just the typical mid-afternoon energy slump, can lead a person to binge on sugary or salty treats and beverages for a boost. Researchers at Columbia University note, people who sleep two to four hours a night are 73 percent more likely to be obese than those who get seven to nine hours.

Getting consistent exercise can improve the quality of sleep and make you feel more rested. Avoid exercising less than three hours before bedtime though, as it can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep.


TOPS, Take Off Pounds Sensibly, which provided this article, is the original nonprofit weight-loss support and wellness education organization.


 

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