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How To Enjoy The Holiday Season and not Gain Weight

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What I hear from my clients this time of year is “How can I enjoy the holidays without overeating and not gain weight?” “Oh! I just will start again on January 1st” or “How can I say no to all the goodies offered and not gain weight?”. Here are a few tips that have proven successful to not gain weight. LindaRD is working with many clients from Walnut Creek CA. Clients come to my office from Walnut Creek, CA for the initial appointment and then we talk via phone or e-mail almost every day. They are thrilled not have to travel to my office for appointments.

The key to success during the holiday madness is become mindful of your eating and then you will not gain weight. What does this mean? Developing a moment to moment awareness of what you are eating without judging yourself. It means deliberately paying attention to your thoughts about the food, taste, aroma, and sensation in your mouth. Becoming aware of how you eat then what you eat. For example, when you are eating fast without savoring it and then taking another serving you are not eating mindfully and you will not easily gain weight.

Think first when you arrive at the party and prepare a plate. Do I really like this food? Is it on my list of favorites and then is it as good as I thought it would be? This again is mindful eating and will cause you not to gain weight.

Practice moderation, not deprivation, because this will only cause a backlash of bingeing and overeating and cause you to gain weight. Some of my clients are chronic dieters who are so focused on the role that food plays in losing weight that they do not allow themselves to enjoy food. I teach all of my clients to enjoy the holiday parties that come around this time of year. They learn to realize that occasional overeating does not equate to instant gaining weight. The next day if you return to eating mindfully, you will be eating less. I see too many clients throw in the towel when they overeat at a party and get very upset with themselves and end up doing it again. This is the reason they gain weight.

One effective tool is to observe what you do with your silverware when you are eating. Do you keep it in your hand the entire meal or do you put it down between bites. Do youprepare another bite before you are still chewing? You are not eating mindfully when there is attention to the next bite instead of focusing on what is in your mouth. Put your fork down when you are chewing. You can also take finger foods and put it down in between bites. I always tell my clients to sit down and eat at a party instead of standing up because they will not be mindful when standing.

Please become aware of your hunger signals. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are satisfied. There is no need to eat until you are uncomfortable to truly enjoy the party. It is OK to say no thank you to your host when offered an appetizer that you do not like. Do not overeat from pressure at a party and do all you can to be true to yourself and not give in.

The number one rule is not to arrive at your party too hungry. If not, you are setting yourself up to fail where you will inevitably overeat. Have a substantial lunch the day of the party. Don’t just have a bowl of soup or salad but you should add at least 4-6 oz. of protein and a cup of veggies. Skip the breads which you will certainly have at the party. Maybe have tuna stuffed in a tomato or an egg white omelet with diced ham and veggies.

If you are asked to bring a dish then by all means bring one that will help you through this event. Always bring a shrimp cocktail or skewered shrimp or roasted veggies, grilled asparagus with balsamic glaze or even fruit salad. These items will definitely balance your meal especially when the offerings are mostly starch and fat laden.

Please make time for your exercise program. You can burn off 300-500 calories with an intense hour exercise. Also, arrive fashionably late if possible. Just think what that will allow you at your next party- definitely a few appetizers and a couple of holiday cookies.

I counsel my clients during the holiday season by phone or e-mail. We speak often where I try to “hold their hand” through holiday parties. My clients give me an idea of what will be served and we role play the event starting from the beginning of the day through the feast. It gives them a sense of confidence to attend the party with a plan in mind. It is a constant thrill for me to hear how compared to past years they have been able to sail through parties with even more enjoyment without and prevent you from gaining weight this holiday season.

Many of my clients have already made requests for gift certificates for their friends from the Walnut Creek CA, and the neighboring towns Danville CA, San Ramon CA, Pleasanton CA, Lafayette CA, Orinda CA and Oakland CA.

I am glad to inform you that insurance companies will cover nutritional counseling. Please visit LindaRD.com for the list of companies, past articles, and more information about nutritional concerns. Call Linda at (925) 855-0150 or e-mail her at lifeweight1@yahoo.com .