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Step 7 - Prepare for the Holidays (and Other Stresses) | MyLifeStages
A Lighter Way -- Part of our 6-month, online weight loss program with Dr. Tak Poon. Follow along by subscribing to this blog (see prompts above) to be notified of each new post.
blog, blogs,Weight Management,Mental Health / Stress Management,Alternative / Complementary Medicine,Nutrition
Pinterest Pin ItStep 7 - Prepare for the Holidays (and Other Stresses)

Step 7 - Prepare for the Holidays (and Other Stresses)

Posted on 11/01/2013  by  Tak Poon, M.D.

browniesA Lighter Way -- Part of our 6-month, online weight loss program with Dr. Tak Poon. Follow along by subscribing to this blog (see prompts above) to be notified of each new post. Then use these weight loss tips at home.

Eating Well in Challenging Situations

Holidays, special occasions and traveling are particularly challenging to those who are modifying their diets and habits. Nobody wants to be sitting in a corner picking at a bland salad while others are eating, drinking and being merry.

Our Cardiometabolic Program participants have contributed these helpful tips for eating on the go, or at special occasions:

1. Eat a small snack, such as a handful of nuts or trail mix, just before going to a big feast.

2. Wear snug clothing, at least underneath your outer layers of clothes, to keep you aware of your expanding midsection.

3. At a party, walk around and engage in conversation as much as you can. If you are shy, just ask other people about themselves and let them talk. It’s better than eating out of loneliness.

4. If you drink alcohol (which can increase your appetite and lessen your control) do so only after eating a quarter of the meal. Before you drink alcohol, drink lots of water.

5. At a buffet, use a small plate. Fill up most of the space with fluffy stuff, like salads. Go back a few times for small proportions – your host will be flattered.

6. Sample many different foods, especially those you are unfamiliar with. Cut them up in small pieces for tasting. Eat slowly and try to tell what’s in each dish. Don’t finish if you are not absolutely crazy about what you are eating. Drink lots of water between each item you taste.

7. In a sit-down dinner, if you haven’t eaten your entire plate full, ask if you can take it home with you for later – again, your host will likely be flattered.

8. Whenever possible, after the meal, take a walk with people you want to have a closer conversation with, or to catch up with.

Dealing with the Stress of Challenging Situations

Like challenging meal occasions, stressful and crisis situations in life will keep recurring. They happen to all of us. How to cope?

Make preparations beforehand. Identify your hot buttons and rehearse in your mind alternate ways you might like to react when the hot button is pushed. Do this mental exercise whenever you are bored or stuck waiting for something – it’s a good way to use the time.

If you are suddenly faced with a brand new crisis out of the blue, use the breathing relaxation technique from Step 4 (tip #10) . Once you have gained physical equilibrium, try to tackle your crisis with the following tips from our CMP participants:

• When a major decision is demanded from you instantly, instinct often triggers, “What’s in it for me?” Instead, calmly assess the big picture and ask, “How can I best serve?” Then your intention is bound to be good and pure. Don’t worry. Human nature ensures that you’ll automatically factor in your own interests and safety.

• Rather than fretting, “What’s going to happen to me if this fails?” just ask yourself “I wonder how this is going to turn out if I mean well and just do my best?” Then your heart and mind will be open rather than constricted. Much better and more creative ideas will come to you from a positive rather than destructive and fearful perspective. Successful people attest that unexpected opportunities and assistance often just spring up everywhere to enable you to succeed.

Join us in 2 weeks for more, especially if you like to be in control.


Step 8: Be In Control

Previous entries for A Lighter Way:

Step 6: Forget about the End Game

Step 5: Avoid All-or-Nothing Thinking

Step 4: Outsmart the Food Industry

Step 3: Food Portions & Stress Eating

Step 2: Establishing an Exercise Habit

Step 1: No Weight Gain This Week

Preparing Yourself for Lasting Weight Loss

Introduction -- No, Not Another Diet

How to begin the Program


Burlingame Cardiologist Tak Poon, MDBurlingame Cardiologist Tak Poon, M.D.  is a member of Sutter Health's Mills-Peninsula Physician Network. To leave a comment for Dr. Poon or subscribe to this blog, join MyLifeStages.

The CardioMetabolic Program (2004- ) is a medically designed and supervised lifestyle coaching program for overweight patients using a body-mind-spirit comprehensive approach. Groups of 8-12 meet with highly trained healthcare facilitators weekly for 4-6 months to affect sustainable medical evidence based healthy lifestyle changes, augmented by an emphasis on daily stress management and cultivation of a deeper sense of wellbeing in life. Founder and Director: Tak C. Poon, MD, FACC, PAMF, Mills-Peninsula Division, Burlingame, CA.