EAT, DRINK & BE HEALTHY:
8 STRESS-BUSTING RULES FOR A WORRY-FREE SEASON
October 31, 2014
1. Put it off. If that leftover peanut butter cup is calling your name, don't be so quick to respond. Research suggests that if you hold off initially and decide on a time you'll come back for the treat (ie., "I'll wait until after lunch"), it may actually decrease the amount you ultimately consume. Before you dig in, slow down, take some deep breaths and ask yourself, "Am I hungry or am I eating out of impulse?" Delay your impulse to eat for at least 10 minutes. Instead of dwelling on the treat, focus on how great you will feel if you can delay your desire to eat. Chances are, you may even decide you no longer want it.
2. Recruit the "Great Pumpkin". The longer Halloween loot lingers in your home, the more likely you are to eat it, so here's a way to get candy out of the house without causing an uproar: Give spare treats to the "Great Pumpkin". Tell your kids to pick their favorite candies to keep and place a dozen of them in zip-close storage bags and write their names with a Sharpie marker. Then, have each child leave the remaining stash at the foot of her bed. Once he or she is asleep, swap the bag with a new game or toy, courtesy of the "Great Pumpkin". (You can then decide whether to donate or dump the treats.)
3. Curb Your Cravings. Whether it's a candy apple at the pumpkin patch or a slice of apple pie at Thanksgiving, you're most likely going to indulge this season. Indulging is alright – in moderation. One way to keep from eating too many sweets in one sitting is to consume each treat with a side-serving of fruits or vegetables, such as navel oranges or sliced kiwi, or carrot and celery sticks. Those healthier choices contain fiber that will fill you up.
4. Take Three. Bites, that is. This all-important rule enables you to savor the taste of your favorite holiday treats and cut calories. While you may think three bites isn't nearly enough to satiate your sweet tooth, consider this reality: The first bite is usually the most flavorful. The second is also good, but never quite as good as the first, and by the third, the food will never taste any better because your taste buds are desensitized due to the sweetness. At that point, you might as well stop.
5. Adopt A Mantra. Having a short phrase ready whenever and wherever you need it this season will help keep your priorities straight. Keep it simple.Tell yourself something like, "Just because that bowl of leftover candy corn is there doesn't mean I have to eat it" or "I deserve better than someone's leftovers." Often, a simple reminder to yourself can do the trick. Also, just because you start a treat doesn't mean you have to finish it. If you take a bite and it's not good, check in with yourself and ask, "Is this worth finishing?" If not, toss it in the trash.
6. Eat Sitting Down. You're likely to eat more quickly when standing, particularly if you're chatting with co-workers or party-goers instead of focusing on the treat. So rather than gulping down a wedge of Cheddar on the fly, put it on a plate, then sit in a chair at a table. If you're sitting while you eat, you're choosing to eat with intention, which ultimately leads to greater satisfaction.
7. Make An Appearance. This is the season that your in-box and to-do list runneth over. One way to avoid the guilt of missing your workout to attend a friend's fete is to make an appearance early on in the party–before everyone hits the buffet and starts slurring their words from one too many cocktails. Toast the host with a sparking water, and head out after 30 or 40 minutes so you'll have time for a gym session before bedtime.
8. Take Back Control. This one's a no-brainer. Whether you're a CEO or a stay-at-home mom, you have it in you to make every day a fresh start. If you eat too much one day, schedule an early morning workout the following day to get yourself back on track, and remember: The idea is to take the stress off yourself by aiming to maintain–rather than gain or lose–this season.
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