Thanksgiving is here…
In as much as it is a time of celebration and family, it is a big deal for many who are trying to ‘lose weight‘.
It causes stress, fear of ‘falling off the wagon‘ and getting off track from a diet.
As you know, I believe that ‘weight loss‘ is a ridiculous term. Fat is the problem. Reducing fat storage and burning fat is what we need to be talking about. Not ‘weight loss’
In this blog, let’s look at reducing FAT storage while celebrating friends, family, love and togetherness.
Let’s explore some strategies that can help you make the best of this occasion, and come out feeling positive, strong and on track.
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Any time you are to go out for a meal, make sure to be well hydrated.
I recommend that my patients consume at least 6 cups of water and a couple of cups of green tea between the time they wake up and the time they get to the dinner event.
DON’T SKIP MEALS
Skipping a meal just so you can eat extra at the dinner is a bad idea!
Eat a smaller breakfast if you are counting calories. And a smaller snack/lunch.
But no matter what, make sure to eat.
When your blood sugar levels are low because of skipped meals, you will likely reach for the carb rich dishes first.
And more than you actually need!
PLAN TO HAVE ‘SECONDS’
… But be smart about it.
Plate #1: fill half with turkey/ chicken/ meat dishes.
The other half with salad and green veggies.
Remind yourself that you will go back for all the good stuff. This is the most important plate of food – you are FEEDING YOUR BODY, YOUR MUSCLE AND YOUR METABOLISM. The protein not only feeds your muscle, it also provides you with building blocks for healthy brain chemistry. It is wonky brain chemistry that leads to binging, overeating carbs and cravings.
– eat slowly. Chew every bite. Notice the flavors and taste sensations. Don’t gobble.
Now that you have fed your muscle, brain chemistry and metabolism… take your second plate and ‘go for it’!!!
Have a glass of lemon water, or water by itself before you go back.
Plate #2: Take a spoonful or 2 (not serving spoons – table spoons) of everything that catches your eye. The fixings, the stuffing, the cranberry and apple sauce. The maple syrup drenched brussel sprouts… the sweet potato dish, the potato salad.
Now sit down and eat MINDFULLY.
Mindful eating allows you to feel satisfied with less.
Experience the textures. Experience the flavor. Notice the aroma. Taste all the different flavours that mesh together to create the dish. Notice that there is a distinction between the different spices and ingredients that make up the dish.
Enjoy and savour every bite.
Let’s acknowledge that there is a huge emotional component to eating in excess at festive occasions.
Noting this, try to spend some time getting centred and grounded before the crowd arrives (or you go to it).
Quiet meditation, mindfulness or a walk outside observing the beauty around you:feel the crisp air on your skin, notice the smells of nature.
Carefully observe the different colours, the shapes of the leaves, the naked branches… the total beaut nature provides us in this autumn season.
The exercise itself will help your stress hormones get back into balance.
Mindfulness is a wonderful strategy to help you feel stronger and more in control emotionally and mentally.
Mindfulness can be done at your desk, in your kitchen, while washing your hands. It is simply a practice of being in the moment and noticing every detail. Often, we are too busy doing ‘stuff’ to notice things like scent, colour, detail, objects around us.
Family can be stressful. There may be people you don’t get along with that you have to see on this day. There may be people present who trigger anger, sadness, low self esteem.
It may also be a time where someone special is not not there, either because of a lost relationship or death.
Food can be a source of comfort when dealing with such emotions.
Understanding this about yourself is the first step to successfully resolving this.
Simple strategies would be to follow the recommendations above.
More advanced, and very necessary strategies involve counselling, rebalancing brain chemistry and seeing a certified therapist to help you at a subconscious level to be complete, in a space of acceptance and find emotional resolution.
Dr. Jen Alexander (hypnotherapist) is skilled in helping you make progress in the areas of emotional eating, stress reduction and success strategies.
Email [Better] for a 30 min, no obligation session that teaches you one strategy that will lower stress, that you can use anywhere, anytime.