This is sponsored content from BlogHer and The Laughing Cow.
Last month I talked about getting back into my exercise routine to combat the extra calories I end up consuming as a food blogger. Well I’m sure you all know that while exercise is very helpful, it’s not enough to keep the pounds from piling on. There needs to be some kind of balance.
It’s hard to find balance, especially during the holidays.
Our lives are hectic; we are constantly bombarded with advertising designed to make us crave excess; we want things. Faster. NOW.
All of this has affected the way we eat in a big way. Eating out is the norm and making meals “from scratch” is considered a luxury. I know plenty of people who spend hours in front of food TV watching others cook, but can’t seem to find the time or energy to cook anything themselves.
So how do we learn how to eat again in a world where the role of food has changed from nourishment to entertainment? I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can share the things that have helped me over the years.
Turn off the TV: It wasn’t until I lived in Sicily and was without American television for four years that I realized how much television affects how and what I eat. Cut back on TV and you’ll be amazed at how many food cravings magically disappear.
Get a good cookbook: Cooking didn’t come naturally to me. I taught myself how to cook by reading cookbooks and food blogs. Get a good book or two and read it. If you are having trouble learning a certain kitchen skill or technique from a book, search for a video on YouTube. There are so many resources for home cooks now, anyone can learn anything; it just takes commitment.
Cook meals at home using real ingredients: You don’t have to eat diet food to be healthy. Making the switch from eating out to cooking real food will automatically cut some calories, sodium, and sugar from your diet.
Serve yourself small portions and eat slow: One of the benefits of eating at home is that you control the portions. Instead of putting all the food on the table and digging in, plate the food in the kitchen like at a restaurant. Serve small portions and eat slow. Learn what it feels like to be full, not stuffed. If you really want seconds, go back to the kitchen for a little more.
Drink water: Drink water instead of soda, juice, sports drinks, or sweetened teas. Save the calories for food!
Keep healthy snacks at home: One key to not overeating at meals is to not let yourself get too hungry. Make it easy to snack throughout the day on healthy things by keeping healthy snacks in the house. If you make your lunch to take to work, add a mid-morning and afternoon snack to your lunch bag. If you are at home during the day, plan your snacks in the morning and get them ready for the day. Things I like to snack on: apple slices and cheese, crackers and cheese or hummus, yogurt with fruit and/or nuts, a bowl of cold cereal, a snack-size portion of leftovers.
Accept who you are right now: If you are unhappy with yourself, you won’t care about what you put in your body. I know, I’ve been there. You have to accept who you are now in order to move forward toward a healthier life. If you aren’t wearing the clothing size that you once did, accept it. Believer me, I know it’s a hard thing to do! Here’s a suggestion that helped me: Set aside some money and take yourself shopping. Find something nice in your current size – something that fits now – and buy it. When you start losing weight, you can give the larger clothes to charity.
I’m not a health expert or a dietitian. These are things that have helped me lose a bit of weight and feel better about myself over the last six years. They aren’t hard and fast rules, just things I try to keep in mind – especially during the holidays when it seems like I’m constantly surrounded by sweets and treats. I think the real key to eating healthy during the holidays is to relax. Give yourself permission to indulge on special days, but surround yourself with healthier food choices the rest of the time.
Here are some delicious and healthy recipe ideas to try at home (click on each image for recipe):
Now it’s your turn to share! Leave a comment on this post sharing how you plan on staying healthy this holiday season, and you will be entered to win a $150 Visa card! Official rules can be found here. Sweepstakes will run from 12/8/2010 – 12/28/2010. Please keep your comments G-rated as any profanity or offensive content will automatically disqualify you from sweepstakes entry.
- No duplicate comments.
- This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.
The Official Rules are available here.
And don’t forget to visit The Daily Dose of Well-Being hub to read helpful content each day and for weekly chances to win $100 at the “Play For Laughs” game. If you share a really great tip, we may even use it in The Daily Dose!