‘Tis the season for eating tons of treats that don’t show up at any other time of year! We all have a tendency to fall out of the healthy eating habits that we are mindful of during the rest of the year. Bring on the eggnog, holiday cookies by the hundreds, pies, mini cheesecakes, oh, my! Most of my life I have gained the “holiday 4-5 pounds,” but until recent years, it was not that difficult to lose them again before spring arrived. Not so easy post menopause…
So, what’s a woman over 50 to do?
My very first tip, and the most important thing to remember, is to enjoy yourself! No stressing out, no beating yourself up, no looking glum.
How you ask? (I can hear you…)
- STOP stressing out about food. That extra cortisol (stress hormone) is going to turn into belly fat. Yes, that’s what it does. AND, it’s the opposite of what you want, right?
- Make a plan for yourself. For instance, you know that Christmas Eve at Aunt Rita’s is going to be an amazing foodfest. You most likely know all the delights that will be served. So, make a plan ahead of time and write it down. Picture your plate and choose to eat a small sample of your daughter’s dumplings, eat a portion of turkey, some veggies or salad, and add 2 or 3 cookies for dessert. See your plate and see yourself adding each item – choose the items that you like! It will be great and you’ll enjoy every bite – without over-eating. This is the time of year to eat mindfully! Mindful eating means you are paying attention to your food when you eat it. You aren’t thinking about what happened in the past or planning for something in the future, but you are present with your meal, in the moment. When you do this, you slow down, enjoy your food, and don’t feel as if you’re missing out. I know it’s difficult to follow a conversation when eating mindfully, so if you are engaged in a conversation, put your fork down until you can pay attention to your food again. Smell your food, taste every bite, and smile with gratitude for the delicious holiday meal in front of you!
- Follow the plan. I repeat – Follow the plan.
One other food item, that we might be in the habit of going a bit overboard with during the holidays, is alcohol. Think about that one for a bit. If you contemplate the number of parties, family gatherings, etc. that you’ll be attending this year, including New Year’s parties, that could be a lot of extra calories that you don’t need. Is it necessary to go without? NO. Once again, make a plan. By thinking ahead, writing a plan and following that plan, you can enjoy time with friends and family without feeling deprived and without over indulging. Put some effort into your planning here. See yourself drinking one glass of wine with dinner, or maybe a glass of port after dinner. Make the plan achievable for YOU!
Then, follow it.
Today’s video gives a few more examples for your holiday peace of mind.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy holiday season,