Our bodies are constantly changing and evolving. It is not uncommon for an individual’s weight to fluctuate through the year and through the seasons. Some of the common reasons for this are stress, the changes in the seasons, our own genetic make-up and perhaps the most implicated culprit is the changes in our eating habits.
Our eating habits work in tandem with our genetic make-up to decide how we look and what areas of our bodies gain weight. This explains why certain individuals despite being what we call “foodies” hardly ever gain weight while we have individuals struggling with eating disorders.
The holiday season is perhaps the most challenging because food in most cultures is a way to bond and show love. We therefore have conversations over turkey and gravy, often moving from one home to the other. Even the best of us, with willpower on our side succumb to the temptation of just a plate.
In this article, we seek to explore ways in which you can have your cake, eat it and maintain your weight at the same time. Read on!
Snack with wisdom
Cookies are a staple dessert in any holiday table and serve as a major temptation for anyone trying to stay on the narrow road of weight freedom. Keep such unhealthy snacks away from the dinner table. If this is not an option, consider making and bringing your own healthy snack options such as kale chips.
If you do not want to be the bummer that shows up with healthy “alternatives” consider snacking healthy at home and coming ready to wait for as long as the meal will take to get ready. Always ask in advance about the healthy options available so you are always prepared.
Substitute the sedentary habits with active ones
Most families bond over board, card games and TV watching. While these serve to improve connection between families, they do a lot of injustice to the weight and health of the family.
Consider introducing your family to more active bonding activities. If the weather is warm outside, outdoor games keep your heart rate in check and your familial bond in line.
It is impossible to over-emphasize the role of portion control to a healthy weight. Sometimes the temptation to try everything kicks in, as it does to many of us. When this happens, remind yourself to try a little bit of everything instead of too much of one thing.
Eat only until you are full and do not eat unless you are hungry. The added benefit of portion control is that the younger ones are able to see, and learn from the adults’ propagating generations of self-controlled gen Z.
Learn how to sleep just enough. It has been shown that people who do not sleep well tend to suffer from increased appetite due to deranged cortisol. Maintain your sleep schedule especially during the holidays to keep your hormones and metabolism in check.
Control and avoid stress
The holiday season is stressful for so many reasons. Traveling, family, finances and many other reasons contribute to the holidays pushing even the strongest of us off the edge. Keep your stress levels at bay by maintaining your self-care routines, by ensuring that you sleep well and by copying the best way you know how.
Our bodies respond to stress by eating making us gain weight. For this reason, always ensure that your stress levels are in check and so are your eating habits.
Practice mindful eating
Dieticians recommend that mindful eating is important in mitigating eating disorders and our relationships with food. Mindful eating allows the human to understand the why and the how.
A few ways to practice mindful eating are to limit food intake to only times that you are hungry. To always chew slowly and enjoy the meal. To avoid multi-tasking and to focus on eating as an important task.
Keep all your meals balanced
Ensure that all your meals contain the right amounts of each of the meal groups recommended. If you are on a heavy protein diet, do not alter your patterns for a season, instead, try and curate your meals from the buffet table to resemble your daily meals.