Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wow! I've Been Eating Since I Got Here.

I wrote this article several years ago when I was in the fitness biz, which I imagine I still am involved with in some fashion.

I can't say I have learned much more about holiday eating since then. Much still holds true and except for those who are predisposed to over-eating, we tend to eat more (or gain more body-fat) over the holiday season. This is not a shocker and I attribute this to four factors.

  1. Firstly, the dah-huh part of this is that more food is available as it is a part of most any culture which celebrates Christmas or any other religious holiday this time of year - a time of year when most Americans are also taking a break from routine, winding down, looking forward to the New Year, possessing the "I don't really care attitude". And, at Thanksgiving, if you have to dig deep (I hope not.) for giving thanks, at least you will hopefully be thankful for a plethora of comfort food. This is good stuff.
  2. For the most part, regardless of where we live (our aspect to the sun and proximity to the equator) in the United States, we are less active and more dormant this time of year - it's all relative. 
  3. We (I hope all are, but some aren't able) are spending time with our families when the kitchen becomes (as if it wasn't already) a focal point treasured with all these homemade morsels while they cook and simmer - the counter tops later becoming a buffet from which we have probably already dined (nibbled) from in some fashion.
  4. From the office to the tennis club and most everywhere else we collectively meet or participate in a shared effort or goal, this is the time of year when food (treats mainly) end up on desks, our plates or simply as hors d'oeuvres sitting on a platter somewhere within sight or testing our olfactory senses.
Here's the good news:

The average U.S. citizen gains less than 2 pounds over the holiday season, yet many carry this guilt about their physique or appearance way into the coming year. This is an egg-scuse for not being active.

My theory regarding this: Most already felt not-so-happy with their weight or physical condition and inflate it because of the holiday eating habits...hence, asinine New Year resolutions.

Get active in some manner and investigate some fitness programs, gyms, professional trainers or group classes in your area and don't consume yourself with a New Year resolution - make the commitment to yourself, tomorrow or next Tuesday, not to some arbitrary date such as January 1st. 

When it comes to your health, New Year's Day is the most overwhelming date you can choose - it reflects a year's worth of effort when most of us can't even plan for the next week. You actually need smaller steps to gauge your progress and reap (see and feel) the rewards of your efforts. The hell with progress - just make the changes and begin to feel and look better - oh, this is progress.

I have gorged and have had my share of wonderful homemade foods, but with no prohibition other than not wanting to feel stuffed after having three Thanksgiving dinner plates and felling totally exhausted (I was always the food hound), I decided to gauge this. 

It was so simple and as much as I enjoy cooking, tastings were simply that - tastings.

When at a holiday or celebration, most of which always are accompanied by ample delicacies, grab the smallest plate you can and fill the plate with the foods you enjoy rather than hanging out by the serving table, buffet or your mother's stove.

Walk away, grab a spot or a seat and engage your family or friends in conversation. You will find you are eating less because you are no longer focused on the food and will allow your brain the time (roughly 20 minutes) it needs to realize how much you are consuming.

Wow! What a concept...tempering one's eating habits while engaging more acquaintances, friends and family.

I know it's not easy, but it's a start.

Enjoy the Holiday Season!

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