MountainStar Health - December 19, 2019

Not surprisingly, this time of year, it starts to get quiet at St. Mark’s Weight Treatment Center. In January the New Year resolutions will mean the phone will begin to ring again as people try to atone for their month of overindulging. But what if, instead of punishing ourselves for our "sins" through the holidays we used that time as an opportunity to change our relationship with food and ourselves?

Instead of the holidays being a month long all you can eat buffet, we looked at it as a chance to try new recipes, explore the seasonal foods available, and appreciate our food in a different way? Winter vegetables are rich and filling and side dishes can be a fun way to fill your plate with nutrient dense foods, while not depriving you of the things you enjoy. If you eat a lot of vegetables, you will naturally not eat as much of the other things, and be better able to have smaller portions of things that you should maybe consider "treats" such as pies and cookies.

Looking at obstacles as challenges and opportunities for growth is called "reframing", an important technique we use at St. Mark’s Weight Treatment Center to help people change their attitude towards eating, increasing physical activity and dealing with stress. It helps us to cope in a healthier way with our problems, which is often a big part of what keeps us from losing weight or prevents us from keeping it off once we lose it.

If you find yourself in the moment overeating at a family event at the holidays because it tastes good, or because eating is what is expected, but you then feel bad afterwards, this is not a healthy cycle and is worth examining. If you find yourself overeating on Christmas day and thinking "Oh, I already blew my diet, I might as well eat another piece of pie", think about this. If you lost $100, would you go to the bank and withdraw another $100 and throw it away? The answer is no, so why do we approach food like this?

If the holidays tend to be a time you struggle with your weight, make your New Year's resolution early, come see us. Let us help you come up with a personalized strategy to help you enjoy the holidays, without sacrificing your health or well-being.

Speaking of side dishes, here's a few suggestions to add to your repertoire this year!

  • Roasted Parsnips
  • Roasted Delicata Squash (this can be added to spinach with some walnuts and a balsamic vinaigrette or just served on their own)
  • Roasted Broccoli (not soggy - so delicious!)
  • Beetroot and apple salad
  • Cauliflower stuffing (substitute bread with cauliflower)

(google any of the above and you will find a recipe that you like best to follow)