Is Heaven a place where your food weakness — your crutch or indulgence — is zero calories?
Do the looming festivities, with all their joy, happiness, food and alcohol elicit dread (and later, guilt) in you?
The holiday season is around the corner and for many of us that spells food fear and weight gain.
What is going to be the net increase after all the feasting? How much will I lose of myself and my happiness by gaining? And how can I stay in control to avoid my downward, disastrous spiral?
Not a pleasant place to be.
Fear not. We’re going to shake it up. There are alternatives.
I’ve decided to share with you some secrets: solid behaviors that have changed my relationship with food and ultimately have brought down the numbers on the scale. Significantly. For good.
Alternatives that work. That can work for you too.
Nobody needs added stress. Let’s make this pleasant, simple, free — and powerfully successful. The holiday season — and the rest of your life – will not be about weight gain if you follow these 5 tips:
1. Why You Should Give Thanks
Seems like a no brainer, right? How is this going to end my weight problems? Well I’ll tell you how.
Take a moment.
Consider where that food came from, how it got to your table.
Thank the elements — the sun and the rain.
Thank the workers — farmers, packers, shop assistants, truck drivers.
If you have a religious or spiritual practice of prayer — do it.
And now, Eat.
Difference? Instead of mindlessly eating away from the start — as so many of us do — you’ve brought mindfulness to your meal. Think about this: “We gain weight insidiously, not stuffing ourselves, but eating a little bit too much each day — mindlessly.” Dr. Brian Wansink.
You’re now in a position to savor the taste, experience your satiety and simply put, not eat on auto-pilot.
When the red flag of fullness begins to fly, you’ll actually know about it — and stop eating!
2. Why You Should Check-in First
How often do you order food at a restaurant that you truly want? When last did the food you ate “hit the spot”? Or does the menu dictate what it’ll be today?
Try this one out…
Close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself “What do I feel for right now? What do I need to nourish and love myself?”
Do I want something Sweet? Sour? Hot? Cold? Crunchy? Spicy? Or maybe even something not in the line of food, like a big helping of Love and a side order of Attention and Respect?
You’ll be amazed!
Sweetie, you know what you want; you know what and how much you need. And given half a chance, your body will guide you to the best, most supportive choice. Just ask and LISTEN in return. The wisdom is yours already. You know how to lose weight.
And by the way, don’t eat want you don’t want to avoid hurting your host. Babe, you count too — and the honesty you’ll be giving him or her is far healthier and respectful to everyone than simply swallowing it down and shutting up. But be nice about it, okay?
3. Surgeon General’s Warning: Chewing Encourages Weight Loss
No, seriously. I mean it. Honest!!
I know, I should be charging you $$$s for this. But angel, you’ve got teeth — use them! They’re going to make you thinner!
And chew slowly while you’re at it.
The quick guide to why and how:
First up, digestion begins in the mouth. The enzymes that break down components such as fat and carbohydrates actually begin their work in your mouth — in your saliva. By breaking things up properly from the start, you’re increasing the chances of nutrient absorption and decreasing the chances of gas!
Pretty cool, huh?
So, your cells are getting more of what they need to make you feel and be great and you won’t be putting on extra pounds because…
You’re giving your body time to work properly. Hormones such as leptin, ghrelin and cholestokinnen that are involved in the sensation of fullness, only really start kicking in (and signaling you) after about 20 — 40 minutes.
You need time to know you’re meant to stop eating. You can fill that time with chewing slowly. Or, you can fill that time with wolfing down excess amounts of whatever.
Recent studies from Oita Medical School in Japan show a direct relationship between chewing speed and the release of histamine from the brain. Chewing slower and longer causes the brain to release histamine, resulting in decreased food intake. Hello weight loss.
Point taken? Chew your food! And chew it slowly.
4. What Everybody Ought to Know About Eating at the Table
One of the first changes I made on my permanent weight loss quest was to eat only at the table. I figured if I wasn’t hungry enough to get my butt to the table, I wasn’t hungry.
It worked. It still does.
Do I get to eat every meal at the table? Always? No.
Do I notice the difference in how and how much I eat? Absolutely, undoubtedly YES!!!
Back to the mindfulness point: If we aren’t focused on our food, chances are we’re eating too much of it and probably too quickly. Ever notice how fast that popcorn goes at a movie theater? Even taste it?
And then here comes the biggie, Michael Pollan confirmed my reality (Woo Hoo!). Isn’t it crazy that we still need outsiders to ratify our reality?!
Rule #58 Do all your eating at a table. No, a desk is not a table. And he goes one step further, which I just love in Rule #2 Place a bouquet of flowers on the table and everything will taste twice as good.
So make it pretty — you deserve it!
5. The Ultimate Must: Enjoy What You Eat
As far as I’m concerned, guilt is a wasted emotion. It serves absolutely no benefits to anyone — not even you! Those of us who grew up with dollops of the stuff may struggle to get rid of it — but “just do it”.
Guilt will keep you stuck and repeating the same unhealthy patterns i.e. eating more of the ‘forbidden fruits’ and holding on to the weight you resent. Not what a smart cookie wants or needs.
If you’re in it for the long haul — and there is NO quick fix with weight loss and management, I don’t care what anybody says — you need to enjoy your food. We’ve got to shift from a relationship of guilt and obsession with food to one of love. After all, it’s food that can nourish and sustain us (or not).
So enjoy what you eat! Fully.
Furthermore, ‘negative emotions’ just mess with digestion. As saliva becomes more acidic under stress, depression and other negative blah, digestion is compromised. Enzymes from the stomach and pancreas and liver bile flow are also harmfully affected. Not what we’re after at all.
There you have it: the whole caboodle. Fast, simple solutions. Go forth and have a fantastic holiday season free of weight worries.
Find this helpful? I’d love you to add to the list or tell us your favorite tip. Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this post, spread the word on your favorite social network or sign up to get email updates and my newsletter.