December has begun and as usual accompanied with the joy of “the most wonderful time of the year” ahead of us! Streets start to fill with colorful lights, houses and buildings start to show their best decorations, and just like magic the air starts to feel lighter, we are all invaded with peace and eager to share wonderful moments with our loved ones. Buuuut, it all comes with a price right? All those meetings and dinners for most of us are also equal to the anxiety of looking at a greater number in the scale at the end of the month. Well, don’t worry my dears because in life everything is about balance, and this is not an exception.
You can follow this little tips to enjoy the season free of any guilt!
BALANCE YOUR MEALS
It is likely that by now you may have already some events in your calendar, most of them dinners, brunches, lunches or any gathering involving huge quantities of food, which might exceed the portions you are used to. A simple advice to cope with them is to arrange your “meals” around the event, to adjust your daily intake. For instance, if you know you have a dinner, on that day you could eat smaller portions on your breakfast and lunch, and leave room to a big dinner.
In weight control the fundamental equation is calories in equals calories out. So, if you arrange your meals in a way that allows you to keep the balance at the end of the day, there should be no problem.
DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF!
Wait! Before jumping directly into fasting as a solution, read this.
It is partially true that, the success relies on the amount of calories you consume in one day regardless of the time. However, you have to keep in mind that this not necessarily means that is ok to eat as much calories as you can in one meal.
A calorie is not just a calorie, because there is an array of nutrients involved in them and their quality can make a huge difference in terms of metabolic response. It is not the same to eat 100 calories packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, than eat 100 calories of fat and sugar and, studies show that when we are deprived of food and thus, hungry, we tend to make worse food choices than when we are not. So, as said above, you may try to eat less than usual before and after the big event in order to keep balance, but definitely don’t go on an empty stomach because then you would more likely end up eating more, and eating worse.
WATCH YOUR PORTIONS
When we have a great variety of food at our disposal is really difficult to keep control. But, we can still avoid taking more than what we are capable of eating. It is known that our brain is set to finish the dishes, out of politeness, or habit. So, one very helpful tip is to trick your mind by choosing smaller plates, this way you can have the same variety but in smaller quantities.
KEEP YOURSELF ACTIVE!
Do not forget that the other half of the equation relies on how much you burn, it might not be the easiest season to start or keep an exercise routine, but you can still try to walk whenever you can, stand every hour at least to get you a glass of water and do, exercise whenever you find the time. Even 30 minutes of moderate activity a day can make a difference.
Yes, part of this season involves a lot of stress and crazy days that sometimes end up with us eating while we are trying to finish work or get to places, or even while we watch our favorite show in our limited spare time.
So, let’s not forget about the whole purpose of the season which is being together and being grateful. Food is as social as it can be, so don’t forget to enjoy it! Eat at a proper setting, surrounded by people, and free of stress, allow yourself to feel the flavors, the people and the moment, and be grateful for all of it! When we eat mindfully we feel satisfied and we are in connection with our body which is the greater balance of it all.