Alexa

Managing holiday diets

Managing holiday diets

Just a few more festivities to maneuver before we get back to reality in the New Year. Here are few ways to avoid excessive eating (and drinking) from "formerly fat person" Allen Zadoff, author of "Hungry: Lessons learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin:"
Have a game plan. "A normal eater can walk into a holiday feast and wing it," said Zadoff. "An overeater like me is going to get into trouble. When you combine friends, family, big feelings, and lots of delicious food, there's a good chance I'm going to end the night face down in a chocolate cake. I have to have a game plan BEFORE the event."
One-plate rule. "Grazing always got me into trouble. At a party I would eat appetizers at 4, dinner at 5, dessert at 6 and leftovers for the next 7 days. By New Years, I was the size of a Macy's parade balloon. Now instead of grazing, I commit to eating one plate of food at an event. Even if it's a big plate ... it's still a plate and a plate has boundaries. I don't go back for seconds and I don't eat appetizers or dessert."
Red light, green light. "Imagine your food like traffic lights," Zadoff suggests. "Green foods are foods you can eat without problems. Yellow foods sometimes cause you trouble. Red foods are foods that you simply cannot eat (or drink) like a decent human being. Apple pie is a good example of a red food for me. I never ate one bite of pie, wiped my lip with the corner of a napkin and said, 'Oh, that's so rich. I'd better stop.' If there was pie, I was eating it until it was gone, or I was following it into the kitchen so we could have some private time together.
Instead of trying to manage "red light" foods, make a commitment not to eat (or drink) them at all. "Am I depriving myself? Quite the opposite! When I'm eating a red food, I spend the night obsessing about it, stalking it, watching to make sure you don't eat it before I can get to it. But when it's not an option, it's not a problem, and I'm free to enjoy the people around me rather than just the food."
Leave a bite on the plate. "At the end of the meal, I leave a bite of food on my plate. For me it's a symbolic gesture of surrender. It's a way of saying "I don't have to eat every bite on my plate in order to be OK.' Leaving a bite is spiritual, it's moderate and it's a lot harder than you think."
Nobody ever starved between lunch and dinner. "Or between holidays. Think 'this is not my last bite of food; it's just another of the many I'm going to take in my lifetime."
Focus on the real meaning of the holiday. "Looking back I see that somewhere along the line, food became more important than the people I was with or the holiday we were celebrating together. Today I have to turn my focus away from food and back to where it really belongs."
Couldn't have said it better myself. Have a safe and happy New Year!


Updated : 2021-03-06 19:28 GMT+08:00