Sunday, December 28, 2008

After the Holidays, Now What?

     Did you overindulge during the holidays? Let's face it, most of us do. My carefully-orchestrated plan didn't quite work out as planned. I was going to spend only a few days home for the holidays, but ended up going home shortly after finals ended. As a result, I have been surrounded by the savory smells of baking and my family's constant snacking for a week.I have kept up an exercise routine, and I have tried to only give in to foods I will truly savor, like traditional holiday favorites rather than fattening snacks I could have any other time of the year.
     But still, there were times when I did overeat. So I now have to come up with a new plan. As someone who suffered from an eating disorder, I know that dieting, for me, is just not going to work. I will instead try to eat even more healthily than normal, by choosing the healthiest option at each meal. I will still choose foods I enjoy, but when faced with several options, I will choose to most filling for the lowest calorie count. I will probably be eating a lot of soup and salad. But I will no longer allow myself to go hungry as a sort of "punishment" for my sins.
     If you've also had problems with disordered eating and gained some weight this holiday season, you know that it takes 3500 calories to make a pound. Even if a single dinner came to 3000 calories (which would assume you had no reservations about partaking of everything), that still doesn't equal a pound of weight gain. If your weight is up, a majority of it is probably also bloat. Try to eat especially well for a week or so. It will be helpful to get back into a normal weight management routine, and then assess the damage, rather than assuming you've gained weight by believing the scale right now. Remember the average American only gains a pound during the holiday season. And keep in mind that small dietary changes are ultimately more beneficial than any crash diet.
     And even if you've never had an eating disorder, it's really not necessary to diet for a pound. By just resuming your normal diet and exercise plan, one pound will melt away on its own. The stress of school will be here all too soon. Cash and home-cooked meals will soon be scarce. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!
     So have you gained any weight over the holidays? Or were you able to stick to a plan that worked for you? 

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