Monday, November 16, 2009

Mindless eating during the holidays

The tsunami of food is about to be upon us.  You know, that huge wave, after wave, after wave of food that occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year's. And while this time of year brings us memories and experiences of great joy, it also unleashes a great tsunami of work, and parties, and visitors, and to-do's, and stress!  With this onslaught of busyness, it is no surprise that American adults may gain about 1 pound during the period just before Thanksgiving through several weeks after New Year's (aka, the Super Bowl).  It doesn't sound too bad, but it is 1 pound that the average person also does not lose year after year.  And this is part of what I call the "weight creep". Weight creep is what happens when a person gains a small amount of weight over a long amount of time and then one day wonders, "How did this happen?"  While this isn't an ideal time to attempt weight loss, given the previously mentioned stats, it is an excellent time to practice maintaining our weight and managing our health.

During this time of year it's very easy to engage in a lot of mindless eating behaviors that undermine our goals to achieve and maintain optimal health and well-being.  Mindless eating occurs when we consume something without much thought, and this type of eating causes us to eat certain types or amounts of foods that we wouldn't normally consume had we paid closer attention.  Think about it. Have you ever eaten something and later thought, "Wow, I do not even remember eating that." or "How did I get so full?"  In order to stay ahead of the game, we need to see how mindless eating creates pitfalls for us. Remember that knowing doesn't equal doing, so we also need to develop defensive strategies to manage these pitfalls. Fear not, because the next series of posts will provide the playbook that you need for a more healthful, enjoyable, and nourishing holiday season ahead.


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