Many cultures base their traditional celebrations around food and drink. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sharing food is a great way to bring people together and to socialise. Think of Christmas parties, Chinese New Year, barbecues, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, Eid-ul-Adha, Diwali, Easter, dinner parties, leaving dos, family occasions. They all involve eating and drinking, don’t they? Unfortunately, seasonal eating is often used as an excuse for to abandon all good intentions and gain weight. At Christmas, for example, we tend to put on an average of 0.5 – 1 kg and it can be hard to lose at that cold time of year.
This can become a problem when you are trying to shed weight. We sometimes use special occasions as an opportunity or even an excuse to go mad. No one wants to feel left out when they can see everyone else having a good time.
Apply the 80/20 Rule
There is a way to have your cake and eat it. It’s called the 80/20 rule. The principle was suggested by management thinker Joseph M. Juran. It was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of income in Italy was received by 20% of the Italian population. You can apply this rule successfully to so many aspects of life: time management, relationships and yes, even what you eat!
When we apply the 80/20 rule to food, it is more an approach to healthy eating than a diet (which as we know, for the most part don’t work in the long term). Put simply, the rule is that you choose to eat healthy foods 80 per cent of the time. This then allows you to indulge in your favourite treats 20 per cent of the time. So as long as you enjoy sensible sized portions of healthy nutritional food 80% of the time, if you go out for dinner, or to a party you can choose to have a treat. That delicious food becomes exactly that once in a while treat and not your average go-to food. You may find you even enjoy it more.
Tips to enjoy seasonal eating without regrets
· The more food on show, the more we tend to eat. So try sticking to a few clever choices rather than trying everything.
· Choose the healthier options first, then you will want less of the higher calorie alternatives later.
· Have a small protein snack (like a handful of plain nuts, hummus on 2 oatcakes and some fruit) before a party. This will make sure you don’t drink on an empty stomach.
· If you don’t arrive hungry you’re less likely to overindulge on higher calorie foods.
· If you drink alcohol, opt for smaller wine glasses.
· To lessen the impact of wine you can opt for a white wine spritzer with soda
· Switch from pints to half pints and measure rather than pour spirits.
· You can also alternate alcohol with water or a low-calorie alternative.
· Remember if you do overindulge in alcoholic drinks, drink plenty of water before you go to bed and keep more by your bedside, as rehydration is key to help reduce the effects of a hangover.
· When choosing your nibbles at the buffet, mini sausage rolls for sushi, handful of salted peanuts for handful of salted popcorn. You get the idea.
If you would like to find out more how to keep on track with your weight goals and still enjoy seasonal eating and how hypnotherapy can help, get in touch with me, Samantha Culshaw-Robinson. I’m a clinical hypnotherapist and I have been helping people lose weight since 1988. For a full range of programmes please visit my Weight Loss page.
If you would like to book in for a session, please fill in your contact details on my consultation page.
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