Don’t you just love the festive season? It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year. A few weeks ago when the weather turned bringing that crisp sweet smell of harmattan, I couldn’t contain my joy. There are so many events, parties, family gathering etc to attend and of course ” Item number Seven ” is a must. This is where the problem lies.
There is so much food everywhere you turn. It’s like people in Nigeria wait till December to showcase culinary prowess and generosity that was nowhere to be found in previous months, and it’s hard to say no. It’s easy to throw nutrition out the window when it comes to the holiday season.
Usually I don’t mind, I look forward to being fat and happy in December, then pay the price in the new year. I get on the scale and weep and start the diet(starving) trend. Well, no more. I am already battling the bulge right now and going forward I have researched how I going to survive, triumph this December. These are my tips:
Map out your holiday season in very specific terms. Its a very serious matter so you need to strategize and decide:
* Where you are going?
* Whom you are going to see?
* What you are going to eat?
* How much you are going to drink?
* When you are going to exercise?
* How you plan to manage your stress (because there will be stress, even if you love the holiday season, traffic in Lagos alone is enough stress.)
Don’t go to a party hungry. Eat a light snack before going out.
Choose only the foods you really want and keep the portions small and make a pledge to eat all of your food – all of it – slowly, so you can enjoy every bite. It’s easy to binge if you eat quickly and try not to notice what you’re eating. So eat everything sitting down, slowly, and mindfully.
Be selective about sweets. Choose a modest portion of the dessert that is most appealing to you. Make it last for five minutes if you can, and enjoy every bite!
Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items. Fill up on lower calorie, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grain breads. I know it might be a bit difficult, but if you put in some thought and effort, you will eat healthier at parties.
Drink plenty of water, lots and lots of it.
When you arrive at a party, avoid rushing to the food. Go enjoy some conversation with friends and family first, don’t just be a ‘grubido’/ FFO (For Food Only)
Limit the hors doeuvres/ small chops nibbles. They can really add up and can constitute your complete calorie intake. Avoid grazing while waiting for the main meal.
Be physically active every day. Take a walk after a meal if you can. Remember that your body doesn’t know it’s a holiday! It will process food in exactly the same way as any other day during the year.
Don’t eat when you’re upset. You will not be able to enjoy your food and you will overeat.
Plan in advance to have one moderate indulgence every day so it doesn’t seem like you are being hard on yourself. Limit your intake of alcohol and junk food to just one time during the day (preferably the evening, so you have something to look forward to all day).
We all fall down. You will fall off the wagon sometimes; you are only human. Do not sabotage yourself by thinking “I shouldn’t have eaten that. Oh, well, I might as well eat whatever I want for the rest of the day and start again tomorrow.” Don’t compound one mistake with another – unless you’re trying to give yourself permission to binge. The truth is, if you eat some cake that contain 250 calories, it won’t even show up on the scale by the end of the week. But if you use one mistake to justify eating 2,000 calories, it will show up on the scale tomorrow!
Avoid temptation. You know your weaknesses. Last weekend I was at a food festival and after browsing the tents and buying a few food items. I was on my way out, the next thing I saw the ‘Chefs tent’ and went to look around. When I got there and saw things grilling and sizzling, I told myself,’ Busayo if you start, they will wheel you outta here’ so I did a turn around. I even saw my food crush, Chef Fregz ( Infact I got free tickets to the event through his Instagram page) and told myself another time and place, leave here now.
Those are my tips. What are some of your trusted tips for avoiding binging? Please share.
Love and lots of holiday food.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Monkey Business Images Ltd