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Navigating "Food Indulgence" Season....

 

santascale.pngBy Lauren Mitchell (usatriathlon.org)

The holidays are right around the corner, which means parties are springing up almost every weekend. Thanksgiving – the most notorious holiday for food indulgence – is upon us. It’s hard to navigate the holidays, with hundreds of food decisions every day, and stay on track with our health and training goals. How do we pick food without feeling guilty or “bad about ourselves” when we are wanting a special dish or dessert? 

Rather than engaging in conversation with our friends and family, what we are going to put on our plate becomes the highlight of the meal. Let’s get back to the notion that the holidays are more about spending time with one another rather than the over-indulgence of food. Here are 5 tips to navigate the holidays the right way:


Tip #1: Plan and prepare
Understanding there will always be a special event around the corner will take away the excuse for potential over-indulgence – treating these events as normal occurrences will prevent over-indulging. This takes planning and preparation, and a keen eye on controlling your blood sugar throughout the day for an evening event. Do your best by preparing foods with carbohydrate, protein and fat until the event, and then choose wisely during. Allow yourself to have a “miss” or two. 


Tip #2: Become an intuitive eater

Why do we eat? What drives our hunger cues? There are three types of hunger: habitual, emotional and biological. Sometimes we eat food solely because of a routine (habitual) or we consume food based off how we are feeling that day (emotional). Prior to going to an event, take time to assess your own hunger level. First, decide if you are biologically hungry for a meal or a snack. Being able to decipher the difference in your hunger levels, whether biological, emotional or habitual, is the first step towards intuitive eating.

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