Holiday Survival Tip #23: Eat mindfully
Another one that we’ve heard before but we’re all guilty of it. When was the last time you watched TV or read a book while eating? And at this most wonderful time of the year when you’re glued to the telly watching Miracle on 34th Street and sobbing your eyes out, you definitely won’t notice how many cookies you’re eating. The longer you watch TV while eating, the more you will eat.
Brian Wansink in his fabulous book, “Mindless Eating,” tells that people who watch TV for an hour while eating will eat 28% more than those who watch and eat for half an hour. In this case, it was popcorn and carrots. What they were eating really didn’t make much difference.
Holiday Survival Tip #24: Distract Yourself When Eating Between Meals
If you’re eating between meals, ask yourself if you’re really hungry or just looking for something to do. The whole concept of eating five or six times per day is a relatively new, American concept. Traditionally people have eaten three squares and been quite satisfied. Then the snack food industry came along and changed all that.
Before you reach for the peppermint bark, sugar cookies or eggnog ice cream, go for a walk around the block, call a friend or play with your Holiday train set. By keeping your mind occupied, you’ll forget about eating.
One of the same Brian Wansink’s friends commented to him how he lost 30 pounds within a year by eating anything he wanted. The trick, apparently, was that if he had a craving when he wasn’t hungry, he would say out loud, “I’m not hungry but I’m going to eat this anyway.” Apparently declaration a voce alta was enough to deter him. Try it and see!
Holiday Survival Tip #25: Take a dance break.
“I think Christmas is about celebration and, come on, on the inside everyone wants to dance.” TobyMac.
This is the one time of the year that we’re bound to boogie. If the thought of dancing the night away at the office party isn’t your thing, then I strongly recommend closing the curtains, turning up Mariah and truly dancing like no one’s watching because they’re not. If you have a dog or cat witnessing you access your inner Lady Gaga, reassurances and treats might be in order afterwards.
Dancing uplifts your energy and mood, burns a ton of calories, and puts you in the festive spirit. It’s also a good distraction tactic (see tip #24, above). This time of year is a free for all, so go for it.