Search This Blog

Friday, December 9, 2016

The 12 Eating Traps of Christmas

By Dr. Jon Thomas, DC, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.
Overcoming Negativity
Wikimedia Commons
The holiday season is supposed to be a happy time, and for many people it is. However, for some people, the holiday season can be a challenging time. Some people even go into various levels of depression during the holiday season. One of the most common coping mechanisms for dealing with sadness is to eat.
It’s easy to over-indulge during the holiday season when food is everywhere, and everybody seems to be eating and enjoying themselves. You really have to watch out for negative trains of thought that seem to keep running and running. When you get stuck in a rut mentally, it’s easy to turn to unhealthy behaviors like over-indulging. Keep yourself around positive people as much as possible. And don’t forget to do some of the things that are good for you, like taking a walk or reading a book.
One of the challenges many people face when they begin to lose weight is the negativity of family or friends. Sometimes people are familiar with a person being a certain way, and they’re comfortable with that. When someone begins to lose weight and change in other positive ways, it can take others out of their comfort zone. It’s surprising, but people who aren’t making positive changes in their own lives aren’t always supportive of people who are.
Feed the Flattery
Once people start losing weight and feeling better about themselves, others begin to notice and make compliments. Most people like to receive those kinds of compliments. That’s especially true if the way you look is the result of the positive changes you have been making, like losing weight and working out. Those compliments can even provide motivation to continue moving in the right direction with fitness and wellbeing. If you have just begun your weight loss journey keep it quiet until you have some victories to share, this will build your excitement as a great reveal of the new you is ahead and stop the potential of being derailed by friends and family.
Wikimedia Commons
Eating Traps to Avoid During the Holiday Season
There are lots of ways to go wrong with food during the holiday season. Here are some of the things you should watch out for.
Overindulging simply because it’s the holiday season: Lots of people rationalize that it’s OK to “eat the whole thing” because the holiday season only comes once a year. That’s true, but if you overdo it at six, or eight, or ten-holiday gatherings, you could easily put on five or ten pounds before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. In fact, research shows that those who add pounds during the holidays rarely take it off, especially in the long term!
Staying too close to the food: If you sit or stand near a buffet table, it will start to mess with your mind. After a few minutes, you might feel like some of those delectable foods are calling out to you. Or you might look over and see that there’s not much left of something you’d like to get a second serving of. It’s best just to get your food and move away from the buffet table, preferably far enough so you can’t see it.
Enormous Portions: Just because there’s plenty of food and most of its delicious doesn’t mean you have to eat all of it. Eat normal portions and then give your body a chance to digest everything. If you go back for seconds, keep it light. Do not go back for thirds because you will certainly regret that. Another thing to keep in mind is that some hosts put out their biggest plates for the big day. Normal portions will look smaller on big plates. There’s no harm in leaving a little empty space on the plate.
Wikimedia Commons
Sampling Everything: Lots of people like to try a little bit of every dish that’s being presented. In some gatherings where everybody brings something, that could be ten or more dishes. A small serving of every item could add up to two or more normal dinners. Again, just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

Trigger Foods: We all have foods that make us a little crazy. It could be Oreo cookies, apple pie with ice cream, macaroni, and cheese, or something else. Once we get started on our particular food, it can be very hard to stop, especially when there’s plenty of it right there in front of us. Be aware of what your problem foods are and simply avoid them.
Someone insists that you try something: Sometimes when people eat food they really like, they urge everyone else to try it too. However, just because someone wants you to try something doesn’t mean that you have to try it. It’s not impolite to tell someone you’d prefer not to have something, even though it does look incredibly delicious.
Avoiding Fiber: When there are lots of good foods to pick from, it may be easier to turn away from some of the foods that you really know you should have. Don’t forget the fiber because it will help to fill you up. If you can, get a serving of baked sweet potatoes or lentils or something else with fiber on your plate.
Allowing dishes with vegetables and fruits to fool you: Sometimes when you see a veggie dish, you think, “Oh, that’s healthy.” That’s not necessarily true. Yams are one thing. Candied yams with little marshmallows on top are something else entirely. Don’t be fooled by those foods.
Wikimedia Commons
Feasting on Dessert: So, you’ve nearly finished your Thanksgiving dinner, and you feel like you’ve done well. You kept your portions within reason, and you only went back for seconds on a few items. Now, it’s time to move on to the dessert table. There are four different pies and two kinds of ice cream to go with them. You feel like you deserve it, so you let yourself go. After all, two or three slices of pie with a few scoops of ice cream never hurt anyone. Unfortunately, there is a price to pay for that kind of binging.
Grazing on Leftovers: After the dinner when things have settled down, it’s easy to wander into the kitchen and take a look in the fridge. Sometimes the leftovers are as good as the dinner was when it was hot. A turkey sandwich with some of that gravy can seem like a fine idea at that point. Don’t do it. Just say no. Better yet, don’t even look in the fridge till you have had a suitable cooling off period.
Lose weight by January?
If you get started soon, you can weigh substantially less by January. On New Year’s Eve, while other people look with regret at their expanding waistlines due to overindulging through the holiday season, you’ll be able to reflect on a season during which you truly did give yourself a gift that will keep on giving. Wouldn’t that be a great feeling?
NutriMost has worked for many people. There are lots of before and after pictures of Vibrant Life Health Center’s NutriMost patients on our website. There’s still time to lose ten pounds or more by January and to start the New Year a bit slimmer. If you’d like to learn more about the NutriMost Weight Loss program, call us at the Vibrant Life Health Center to set up an appointment. 

In this article, I have discussed many of the traps that people fall into when it comes to dining during the holidays. From enormous portions to trying a little bit of everything, sometimes the best thing to do is to just say “No.” I’ve also given some effective strategies for not over-indulging when the opportunity to do so arises.
If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section below. If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please share it with your friends and colleagues, as well as on social media.
The Google Plus button and other social media sharing buttons are below.
At Vibrant Life, we address all the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, Chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment.

Courtesy of Vibrant Life
Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weightlifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is regularly seen on TV where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also has several videos on the Vibrant Life YouTube channel and a regular show on Blog Talk Radio. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Northeast Florida


  1. So many cookies. So little time. The holidays are like a minefield to your diet. The trick is to have a plan to avoid the mines.

  2. These are some really great tips. I have tried several of them and boy do they work! :D