Happy Holidays!

Tis’ the season to be jolly! The winter break is almost here and as we prepare to arm ourselves with strong minds to resist too many temptations, we are swamped with social commitments that might just make it impossible to do so! Planning ahead is a big help, of course, but the even more important thing to remember is…” be moderate” with whatever you eat this holiday season.  The more one deprives oneself, the more strong your cravings turn out to be..Deprivation leads to higher levels of stress in the body. It can get you to the point where you succumb at the end, binge on something you deprived yourself of and the end result is guilt!

Life is so much better without that feeling of guilt lurking around your conscience. Through my years of working with individuals who have had issues with obesity, I remember my clients would say, “I have been very good avoiding anything sweet for the past few weeks, can I eat a small piece of chocolate cake at my friend’s wedding?” I would always respond, “Of course you can have a piece of cake, not the whole chunk, but a small piece will not do any harm”. It’s actually the first few bites of a dessert that satisfies and makes you feel so good..the rest of the bites that you take with the sole objective of finishing your plate are also known as gluttony, which leads to guilt..so stay away from large portions of anything!

If you have a vast selection of food  in front of you, follow these rules:

1. Eat something green: salad, green beans, brussels sprouts, or any other veggies. These provide essential fiber that fill you up and improve satiety

2. Eat something with protein: Lean chicken, fish or turkey, lentils, low fat cheese or yogurt have what it takes to stay satisfied for a longer period of time.

3. Eat your carbs, but choose wisely: Whole grain breads, couscous, or quinoa are healthier options you can pick from, but if you plan on eating a slice of dessert, limit your carbohydrate intake.

4. Eat your dessert, make it small: Choose one sweet treat that you really enjoy and take small bites, do not gobble it up! Eating slowly can improve your feeling of fullness and prevent overeating.

5. Drink responsibly: Keep well hydrated with plenty of water to process all of your food more efficiently. Enjoy alcohol, but keep it moderate. Try to stay away from sugared drinks and soda. Your carb quota is pretty limited, given you just ate dessert (and that dinner roll)!

Bottom line, stick to choosing wisely, eating moderate quantities, and enjoy your holidays, guilt-free!

-Aparna Ramadurai