Rebound healthy habits after the holiday


The holidays come around only once a year and it is reasonable to expect to enjoy yummy eats and treats. Healthy habits are stashed away for a few weeks, but as the new year approaches, the marathon food fest that started at Thanksgiving is dwindling to a close.

Eating unhealthy amounts of less than healthy foods and drinking more than a reasonable limit of adult beverages can affect your mood and your sleep. This behavior often triggers guilt, stress, and anxiety. It is time to find goodwill and peace on earth, at least in your part of the world.

Be kind to yourself while learning something new. Changing an eating habit is a challenging endeavor. After the past six weeks of holiday tasting, sampling and an overabundance of delectable calories, putting the brakes on and choosing healthier foods is something new. Be nice, skip the guilt.

Be picky. Some foods are tastier than others. Focus on the foods that please your palate and skip those that offer little taste or satisfaction. Prioritize the foods you genuinely enjoy. Eat a portion that feels good to you.

Take your time while eating. The fast pace of the holidays and the abundance of food marathons awards the winner with indigestion and bloating. Chewing food thoroughly and taking time between bites increases the joy and flavor of each bite.

Research reveals that the rapid swallowing of large mouthfuls of food washed down with copious gulps of liquid is linked with weight gain and weight fluctuations. Shoveling and stuffing is the opposite of what your body wants at meal or snack time. Eat slowly.

Pay attention to how your body feels during a meal. It takes about 20 minutes for your appetite-regulating hormones to signal your brain. So, if your plate is empty before 20 minutes you may still feel hungry but, you have had enough. Spend time savoring your food. Take smaller bites and turn off the television. Be aware and pay attention so you can make wiser choices.

With the holidays behind your stress levels should begin to lighten. Holiday splurges can be substituted with healthier choices that have happy benefits. Fiber-filled, antioxidant-packed plants and produce have been shown to deliver significant gains in happiness and life satisfaction.

A study investigating the eating habits showed that increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables were linked to higher happiness scores. Skip the dip and cheese sauce, eating more plain vegetables and enjoying fruit throughout a day reduces stress hormones.

As the final words of this article are jumping from my fingers, I am reminded that I have been writing for a long time. In January of the year 2000, I began to submit my professional opinion on healthy eating and living.

Reading about nutrition can be boring and many people do their best to avoid suggestions and knowledge regarding healthy food choices. My style is simple, and I attempt to convey complicated information at an elementary grade level. Thank you for reading my words. I have twenty more years of ideas to share.


Bobbie Randall

Contributing columnist

Bobbie Randall is a registered, licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator in Wooster, Ohio. Contact her at [email protected].

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