Start by printing the 2017 calendars available here:
2017 Dot Tracking Calendars
Also buy a bunch of green, yellow and red stickers or stars. [Read more…]
Instead of getting hooked by holiday foods, focus on the people around you.
Work on connecting by asking questions and listening to their stories. Show caring and love without judgement or criticism.
To add to your ability to connect, pay special attention to eye colors. To do this, you’ll need to make a extra effort to look into people’s eyes.
They will be amazed at how present you are in the conversations.
To fix this, use a fork or spoon to eat anything that’s a “hand-held food.”
You’ll still get to appreciate the tastes but you’ll eat a lot less than if you keep grabbing a handful of those foods.
If you don’t drink alcohol, you can skip this tip.
But remember, alcohol adds calories as well as making you not care about how much you eat.
To manage parties or family gatherings, drink a large glass of water before you start sipping on a glass of wine, beer or other alcoholic beverage.
Sometimes, you’re actually thirsty and the water helps you slow down and make your drink last a lot longer.
You might also plan to drink a glass of water before reaching for a second drink or a refill on your wine.
You don’t have to do it all.
Look for ways to cut out some of the usual rituals or activities that wear you out.
Make two types of cookies instead of ten.
Buy fewer gifts, and explain that you are working on having a simpler, more meaningful holiday season.
Evaluate every invitation to see if it’s important or not. Sometimes, you can skip a lunch or other gathering and not really miss much.
Be selective about which concerts or programs to attend. At our home, we try to never do two big evening events in a row. It really helps us not get so exhausted and we appreciate the ones we go to a lot more.
A few weeks ago, I made brownies for a women’s meeting. I carefully cut off the edges along the side of the pan, then cut the brownies into small squares.
But while I was doing this, I ate one of the edge pieces, then another, and a few more.
Whoa! I was suddenly hooked into the taste and the texture of those wonderful brownies and couldn’t seem to stop eating the edge pieces.
Suddenly I caught what I was doing and I pulled out one of my favorite tools for managing tasty foods this time of year:
Minimize the damage!
First I drank a glass of water to stop the taste trigger. Then I left the kitchen and brushed my teeth. No more nibbles on the brownie edge pieces.
During this holiday season, recognize when you feel weak or you’re struggling with a food trigger, then use any actions that will help you minimize the damage. Leave the room, take a walk, go home, read a book, even go to bed if necessary.
If you play cards or other games, cut up an apple and nibble on it instead of the chocolate covered cashews.
When you start eating a snack food and can’t seem to stop, brush your teeth or suck on a slice of lemon. You’ll cut the taste trigger and find you can leave the food behind.
When you face tempting holiday foods or snacks, practice giving yourself a firm message:
DON’T EVEN START!
In your mind, use a strong, parental tone of voice, and repeat this phrase until you feel totally in control around the food.
By avoiding that first bite, you’ll prevent the taste trigger from even getting started.
Feel free to create any self-talk phrases that will protect you around food. Here are a few more choices:
Don’t even go there!
Stay on top of your plan.
Hold your goals up high.
Live above the crowd.
Play with your self-talk phrases until you find the most effective ones for you. Every time you decide you want to avoid a food entirely, firmly use your own self-talk words to instantly stop yourself from eating.
When you eat fast, you are more likely to overeat.
Here are two great ways to slow down your pace of eating.
1. At holiday gatherings, set a goal of finishing your meal at the same time as the slowest person at the table.
This is especially challenging when there’s a two-year old at your meal.
2. At the start of your meal, set a timer or the alarm on your watch for 20 minutes.
Pace yourself (even if you’re only eating a sandwich) so you will be finishing the last bite of your food when the time is up.
For a simple but effective way to manage holiday meals, use the half-off special.
That simply means eat half as much as you normally would or half of what you actually want.
For example, scoop up a bunch of mashed potatoes, then put half of it back.
Picture the amount of dressing or green bean casserole you’d really like, then only take half that much.
Cut a piece of pie in half, then savor and appreciate the flavors. Remind yourself that you’ve gotten what you need from the food, so you don’t need to reach for another piece.