Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Holiday eating

Read articles from the American Council on Exercise about dieters sliding off the low-carb fad. It's kinda expected, if you'd ask me. Especially during the holiday season when one gets caught up in the party mood. I'm equally guilty so i have to be really mindful of what I eat and how much. But I digress. The low-carb thing is an exercise in monotony. It's far from realistic because it requires special food or special preparations which may not always be available. The minute these foods are not available, you can bet that people will choose what's there on the menu or the shelves.

Time and again, the more level-headed nutrition and fitness professionals are reiterating the need for a holistic approach to weight management. We're always looking for the magic pill but fact is, the basics work. It's about plain and simple: exercise, portion control and lifestyle change.V ery recently, I've asked some friends to monitor their food intake by keeping a food diary. this exercise helps one be aware of the actual amount of food, the type of food they eat, and most importantly, why they eat. We can call this mindful eating, much in the same way that a physical workout should also be mental.

Eating sensibly is just part of the equation. Finding time to exercise is an equally important part. There are strategies to squeeze in workouts here and there, even if one is pressed for big chunks of workout time. Like park a bit far from the office or mall and take a walk, even just a 5 or 10 minute walk. Don't like to sweat much?G o around the mall (but resist the temptation of shopping, hehehe). Volunteer to carry the shopping bags. Tinker around.

Going to a party? Drink loads of water before. For every cup of coffee, drink a cup of plain water. Expecting to eat more in a coming party? Eat a bit less for your next couple of meals. Instead of snacking on chocolate and candies, choose an apple or orange.

The gym appears deserted the past couple of weeks and you can almost imagine people bingeing and letting go. Come January, it's the same ole story again of a couple of unwanted pounds gained over just a few weeks. It's tough to battle this tradition but it can be done.

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