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How to Avoid Holiday Overeating

Home Alone for the Holidays


The difference between being alone and being lonely is your state of mind. Do whatever it takes to enjoy yourself and to avoid having a personal pity party.

Being alone or almost alone for the holidays can be fattening. It's easy to feel left out and sorry for yourself. Don't console yourself with food. You can still share the joys of the holidays with others and yourself. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Get out and do something for someone else, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen or visiting nursing homes.

  • Go to church, mosque, synagogue, or temple and be with other people.

  • Take quality time for yourself. Pamper, polish, exercise, read, and catch up with your projects and yourself.

  • Eat with wisdom, like you've now learned to do every day. Eat 0-5.

  • Savor some special holiday treats, but carefully and sensuously.


Weighty Warning

Because of the nature of potlucks, sometimes you might find very little high-quality protein offered. To make sure that you get enough protein, maybe you should be the one to bring a protein dish. Foods such as sliced roast or ham, deviled eggs, and a lovely presentation of cheese and fruit make a terrific contribution.

Whether you're at a dinner party, a wedding, a Super Bowl celebration, or a neighborhood potluck, apply the same eating principles:

  • Make the party, the celebration, and the people more important than the food.

  • Start eating at 0 on the hunger scale.

  • Be selective about what foods you put on your plate.

  • Eat slowly, carefully, and sensuously.

  • Save room for dessert or wedding cake if you want some.

  • Drink alcohol with caution, remembering that it dulls your hunger sensations, making it tough to know when you've had enough food.

  • Stop eating at or below 5.

Learn how to be socially comfortable at parties so that you can have a good time without hiding out near the appetizer tray. If you need to, take a class on small talk or lessons in the art of party going. Such classes really exist, and they can be quite helpful.

Handling Family and Friends

Why does it seem that people push food on you more when you're on a program to master your weight? Some family events can be emotionally challenging all by themselves; you sure don't need anyone telling you how to eat.

In many families, food is a representation of love. Therefore, a host or hostess might assume his or her love is not accepted if you don't eat enough food in that person's opinion. Herein lies a big problem. You know that food is not love—at least you should by now—but try explaining that at a family event. It's bound to upset the fun.

The best way to navigate through this minefield at a family gathering is to keep your own counsel. Keep quiet about your weight-loss program. If anyone mentions it, thank the person for noticing and change the subject. If you're done eating and someone is pushing you to eat more, simply tell the person that you don't have any more room or that you might have some more food later after your food settles. Then you can politely refuse more food later if it's offered.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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