Beat the Holiday Bulge - PIH Health

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Published on December 05, 2019

Beat the Holiday Bulge

Photo of a turkey dinnerPhoto of a turkey dinnerDecember is filled with gatherings that are often celebrated with family, friends and food. After a few celebrations, you may notice a “holiday bulge.” Beat the bulge this season and practice defensive eating habits by making healthier choices.

What is Defensive Eating?

“Defensive eating is all about changing your attitude towards food,” says Andrew Chao DO, PIH Health family medicine physician. “Instead of focusing on what foods to avoid, think about how making healthier choices will benefit you in the long run.”

Tips for Defensive Eating

1.    Motivation. Keep yourself accountable for your health by recalling what motivated you to start eating healthy in the first place.

2.    The polite decline. Politely declining food is the best way to avoid making unhealthy choices. It may hurt some feelings, but at least you aren’t hurting your health.

3.    Pace yourself. Eating too quickly can lead to over-consumption. If you pace yourself, you will be able to enjoy what is on your plate without feeling the need to have seconds. Remember it is not a race.

4.    Sit further than arm’s reach. To avoid overeating, sit a few feet away from the food so that you aren’t tempted to eat everything that’s in front of you.

5.    Remember the basics. There are three basic methods to avoid adding extra calories to our meals: 1) hold off on the sauce, 2) skip the soda and 3) don’t over serve your plate.

Make it a point to adopt healthy habits this year and give defensive eating a try.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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