Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Celebrations Are Not A Reason To Eat More


drunkMost people associate celebrations like Christmas, Easter, weddings and other special occasions with weight gain because for some quite ill-informed, and even ridiculous reason, we give ourselves permission to eat more and even expect to gain weight at such times! It’s no wonder they call Christmas the “Silly Season”! Not only do we usually spend too much on consumer items we and others do not need or really want, we eat more than our body needs and gain anywhere between  1- 3.5kgs in a few days.

Of course, while we all know that the real reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of a well known figure in history, and that Easter is to celebrate the death and resurrection of that same person, we turn these events into a ‘food fest’ and a drain on our finances. Yes, very silly!

In light of the recent economic downturn and the number of people on the planet with expanding waist lines, DietPsyche is encouraging all and sundry to interpret special events like Christmas, Easter and social occasions as opportunities to practice values such as:

  • self-discipline,
  • mindfulness,
  • accountability,
  • commitment and
  • follow-through in relation to our physical health and to build mental fitness.

So, let’s do the right thing for our bodies and our bank accounts by being mindful of our actions.

Here are FOUR KEYS to curb celebratory cheer.

1. Practise self-discipline

  • Learn a useful phrase taught to DietPsyche by a famous red-haired client. “No thanks; I don’t need it!”. This of course, can be shortened to “No!” Learning to say no, without guilt can be liberating.
  • Eat to appetite; do not over-eat. Your body will be eternally grateful.
  • Only put food out at meal times and serve directly on to a plate and avoid using central dishes that allow you to keep helping yourself.
  • Clear the table immediately after eating to stop yourself picking at food, including other people’s food!

2. Practise moderation:

  • Eat small frequent meals throughout the Christmas, Easter and holiday periods
  • Keep snacks small if you absolutely must have one
  • Delay dessert till afternoon tea or supper depending on when you have your main  meal because by the time dessert comes you will likely have eaten enough!
  • Watch how much you drink be it fruit juice, soft drink or alcohol. The easiest way to put on weight is to drink it on.

i.      Instead of juice, cordial and soft drink, drink water, soda water with a slice of lemon or plain mineral water!

ii.      Women should not have more than two standard alcoholic drinks in a sitting. Men should not have more than four standard alcoholic drinks in a sitting.

iii.      For every glass of alcohol, have a glass of water. Look after your liver, it is a very busy part of your body and can’t effectively detox excessive amounts of toxins like alcohol on top of all the other work it has to do!

3. Practise nutritional responsibility

  • Avoid pork crackle, chicken and duck skin and other obvious sources of saturated, artery clogging fat on  and in meats and wrapped around meats and fish like pastry and batter
  • Instead of roasting vegetables in oil, dry roast them or alternatively steam them or have salads.
  • Use herbs and spices to flavour food, instead of oils, creams and dressings
  • When providing salads avoid potato salads, rice salads and pasta salads that are loaded with full fat mayonnaise and oils. Keep it simple and go for fresh salads not based on rice, pasta or potato dressed in oils and mayonnaise.
  • Skip the Christmas and Wedding and other celebratory Cakes and decadent desserts and have fruit instead. Don’t forget, dried fruit is loaded with kilojoules. Fresh is best.
  • Do not give people high kilojoule or high calorie foods like Christmas cake, plum pudding and short bread biscuits for Christmas, or chocolates and tortes at other special occasions; you are not doing them a favour. If someone gives you a high joule orcalorie food like chocolates or Christmas Cake, pass it on or throw it in the bin. Remember, “You don’t need it!”
  • Consider a cold Christmas lunch or BBQ with salad for Christmas lunch, with a light fruit based dessert – especially if you live in the southern hemisphere. People who live DownUnder do not need heavy roasts on hot Christmas days and those that live in the Northern Hemisphere, need to watch their waists.

4. Do special events differently

  • Just as there is a trend for eco-friendly travel and even eco-friendly weddings, we need to think about more eco-weight friendly celebratory events
  • Consider a BBQ or picnic instead of the traditional heavy Christmas or Easter fare
  • have your BBQ or picnic in a park where it is cumbersome to take too much food
  • offer a platter of char grilled or dry roasted vegetables for entrée, or crudités and use tomato or yoghurt based dips
  • bake pita breads in the oven until crisp and break them up when cool to use for dips instead of chips and high fat biscuits
  • leave out a fruit bowl instead of bowls of lollies, chocolates and chips
  • don’t let your hair down because it is Christmas Day or some other special event; do it differently and eat mindfully and appropriately for your body

Photo credit:

© Mindz Matter Pty Ltd

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