With Fall upon us and the holidays coming near, we find ourselves rushed to meet the demands upon us – shopping, prepping, cooking, packing, dusting off those boxes of holiday decor. All of this when the days are getting shorter and the weather a bit cooler – zapping all that energy we require to do more.
A national stress survey conducted by American Psychological Association shows that comfort eating rises by 10% in women during the holidays. Holiday weight gain is not surprising. Stressed spelled backwards is DESSERTS – a comforting treat – and these are what many women turn to (and mindlessly), in order to tune out the pressure going on inside.
It is that time of year when temptations rise. Let’s not forget sweets are much more available with the leftover Halloween candy (unless you’ve chucked it), stores providing nog, cider (and chocolates) to greet and draw customers in. Now with Thanksgiving days away, all those decadent desserts may be tugging on your sweet tooth even after that heavy turkey meal.
What to do?
SLOW DOWN (take a deep breath).
What?! Slow down when their is so much more to do??
Slow down to get things done. Remember the old saying “haste makes waste.” Running around in circles won’t get the job done especially when we have to go back (more than once) for something forgotten. When we give ourselves the time to eat, time to “play” and schedule in time to rest, we can be much more productive in the end.
Here are some other tips for keeping stress at bay:
- Try adding in an aerobics class or at least a 1/2 hour of cardiovascular activity. Endorphins get you pumped and give you the “energy” and motivation to move on with you day. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can actually increase your productivity.
- Schedule in your form of relaxation, whether it is a yoga class, reading a book or simply taking time to nurture yourself. You will feel more rejuvenated and at peace – allowing all that noise of “have-to-do’s” to go away.
- For dinner, enjoy a nice warm bowl of soup, it may actually help control your appetite (at gut level), according to science writer Jack Challoner. You not only have to eat this slowly, but you can use this time to enjoy the flavor, the warmth and feel satiety. As it is blended, the water-filled food actually causes the stomach to take longer to empty versus a solid meal plus water. And by eating more slowly, you’ll also register when you are full.
Slow down and warm up with this low fat, spicy pumpkin soup recipe - just in time for Thanksgiving.
How will you slow down to rev yourself up this holiday season?
An RD Behind the Plate,