The Benefits of Indulgence
Thanksgiving kicks off a holiday food festival that doesn’t end till the last scoop of seven-layer dip is gone on New Year’s Day. Over those six weeks, we put on an average of 1 pound (don’t congratulate yourself -- studies show it never comes off) and eat so many sticky carbs and sugar that the bacteria in our mouths have their own feast, creating a cavity-causing acid bath.
The solution? Indulge! That’s right: Research shows that we’re more likely to go overboard if we’re trying to deprive ourselves than if we do what brings us pleasure. “The whole cut-back-and-make-yourself-miserable plan is a recipe for failure,” says Melissa McCreery, Ph.D., a psychologist and the founder of life-coaching practice Too Much on Her Plate. “The key is not to survive the holidays, but to savor them.”
Here’s how to indulge without regret:
1. Pick your pleasure.
Choose your favorite food -- whether it’s a glass of eggnog, your aunt’s black bottom pie or a side of sausage stuffing -- and really enjoy it. “If you’re feeling guilty about it, you’re not enjoying the experience,” says McCreery. “Eat it mindfully. When I’m eating wonderful chocolate, I’m tasting it, feeling it melt in my mouth.” You’ll eat less if you savor every bite.
2. Feast wisely and well.
Even some healthy party foods are surprisingly indulgent. Make smart swaps when you can.
Unless you really love eggnog (1 cup = 343 calories, 19 grams fat), why not treat yourself to champagne (4.5 ounces = 95 calories and 0 g fat)?
Cheese cubes? Really? Four ounces of sumptuous shrimp (2 to 3 large) are only 112 calories with 1.96 g fat. Or treat yourself to dip at the veggie tray. Bonus: These healthy snacks also help scrub away food particles and plaque.
Skip the holiday cookies and go straight to the chocolate. One ounce of decadent dark chocolate carries only 70 sweet calories and is full of health-promoting melt-in-your mouth antioxidants. But do stop at one and rinse out your mouth with water after eating -- this way, you’ll wash away the sugar and the tempting taste.
3. Open your present.
Don’t let your holidays get so stressful and hectic that you don’t have time to relax with the people you love. “One thing people never put on their to-do lists are the experiences they want to have,” says McCreery. “Plan ahead for the time you want to spend with family. Decide what you want your life to be rich with over the holidays and go for it.
Denise Foley is the former deputy editor and editor at large of Prevention. She is also the co-author of five books on health and parenting.
Available at Amazon.com:
Giant Book of Kitchen Counter Cures: 117 Foods That Fight Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Memory Loss, Bad Digestion and Hundreds ... Problems! (Jerry Baker Good Health series)
- Enjoy the Holidays Without Piling on the Pounds
- The Benefits of Indulgence
- The Best Way to Kill Germs
- Best Cold-buster Strategies
- Gift Giving Made Healthy
- Managing Dental Phobia
- Is the Bedbug Threat Real?
- 10 Ways to Stay Healthy During Holiday Travel
- Junk Food Addiction Is All Too Real
- Cranberries: Our Holiday Season's Sparkling Gem
- Foods that Fuel the Immune System
- Powerful Nutrition for Strong Bones
- Bone Up On Bone Health
- Music Only Path to Movement for Some People With Motor Disorders
- Counterfeit Medicines: Health and Harm
- FDA Cracks Down on Caffeine-Charged Alcoholic Drinks
- Fruit and Vegetables: Americans Fall Short
- How to Properly Eat Your Veggies
- Healthy Eating Tips for a Busy Lifestyle
- Top 10 Surprising Facts About Smiling
- Bad Habits That Are Good for You
- How to Decipher Product Labels
- New Applications Turning Cell Phones Into Medical Devices
- The Virtual Therapist Will See You Now
- New Findings Turning Coffee Into A 'Health Food'
- Food Allergies: When Food Bites Back
- Healthy Hot Drinks Avoid Caffeine and Sugar
- Have Glowing Skin for All Seasons
- Best Health Advice I Ever Got
- The Serious Hazards of Soda
- How to Turn Setbacks into Bounce-backs
- Stay Healthy When Everyone Else Is Sick
- How Personality Affects Your Health
- A Sensitive Issue: Salt Restriction
- Would Your Kitchen Pass a Restaurant Inspection?
- Should I Stop Taking B12 Supplements?
- Tap Water Toxins: Fact or Fiction?
- Love Your Liver: Natural Liver Support
- Healthy Eating Guide to Cereal
- Load Up On Vitamin C
- Vitamins That Keep Your Brain Young
- 5 Superfoods You're Not Eating
- Boost Dental Health with Honey and Agave Syrup
- Oral Health Sweet Shocker
- Screening Tests That Can Save Your Life
- Eat Fiber and Feel Better
- The Worst and Best Sweets for Your Teeth
- The Truth About Extreme Smile Makeovers
- Beat the Bedbug Epidemic
- Healthy Eating All Day
- Recreational Drugs Go Straight
- A Smart Guide to Dietary Supplements
- Normal Weight Obesity - A Growing Concern
- Fruit and Vegetables: Americans Fall Short
- Hybrid Fruit: The New Super-food
- Is Indian Cuisine Healthy Cuisine?
- Is 'Ethnic' Cuisine Healthier?
- Is the H1N1 Flu Pandemic Over?
- 5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
- Surviving Cold Season: How Not to Get Sick
- 7 Healthy Habits in 7 Weeks
- Sleep More and Live Longer
- 4 Dangerous Health Emergencies: What to Do
- Heartburn-friendly Diet with Your Favorite Foods
- Put Brakes on Inflammation Through Diet and Lifestyle Strategies
- The Vibrant and Healthy Flavors of an Authentic Latin Diet
- Is It Hunger or Just Appetite?
- Stay Healthy the Easy Way
- The Importance of Dreams
- Boost Your Energy: Hour by Hour
- Stop Information Overload
- Breathe Like a Baby
- 5 Healthy Foods That Wreck Your Teeth
- Are You Falling for Dental Myths?
- Is Heart Attack Going Out of Style?
- Flu Season
- Preventive Care & Electronic Medical Records Guidelines Set
- Stone Age Diet Surprisingly Good For a Healthy Life Today
- New Tools Fuel Progress on Development of Genetically Engineered Farm Animals
- Beat Your Afternoon Energy Slump
- Small Healthy Habits With Big Health Benefits
- Relieve Stress and Uplift Spirits with Aromatherapy
- New Things To Try That Lift Your Spirits and Relieve Stress
- 5 Fast Breakfasts That Boost Your Health
- Much to Consider When Looking for a Primary Care Physician
- Apples Are the New Fish
- Watermelon: Summer's Antioxidant
- Prescription for Better Health: Go Alfresco?
- Are All Omega-3 Fats The Same?
- Sample a Semi-Vegetarian Lifestyle With a Flexitarian Diet
- Milk: When the First Food May Be the Best Food
- Foraging is Green Eating at Its Purest
- How to Lose Weight Safely
- Colleges Joining Effort to Turn Around Skyrocketing Obesity Rates
- Medical Claims for Marijauna - Just Blowing Smoke?
- The Hidden Health Benefits of Adult Braces
- 5 Things Your Dental Insurance Will Not Cover
- 4 Effortless Steps to Whiter Teeth
- 5 First-aid Tricks You Need to Know
- Heat Can Beat the Heart
- Eating for Your Blood Type -- Truth or Fiction?
- Salt Sensitivity Issue: Salt Restriction
- 5 Tips to Bulldoze a Bad Mood
- Genetically Engineered Foods Update: More Common Than You Think
- 5 Celebrity Trends That Could Harm Your Health
- Should You Travel Abroad for a Dental Procedure
- Super Foods to Boost Your Dental Health
- The Fight Escalates Against Fake Drugs
- Fermented Foods Are Making a Comeback
- Wean Yourself Off Processed Foods in 7 Steps
- An Update on Soy: It's Just So-So
- Is it OK to Take Ibuprofen P.M.?
- Colonoscopy: Is It Time to Go Virtual Colonoscopy
- Sleep Better Tonight (Fight Fatigue Tomorrow)
- Do-it-yourself Sunburn Remedies
- Take the Germ Quiz
- Healthy Mouth Equals Healthy Body
- 5 Biggest Flossing Mistakes
- Health Threat of Nitrates: Nitrites in Cured Meats
- Stop Dry Mouth Now
- Best Ways to Keep Your Teeth
- 5 Instant Ways to Stress Less and Smile More
- Be Suntan Savvy
- 4 Ways to Sneak in Sunblock
- Can Aspirin Do That, Too?
- A Natural Approach to Sweet Slumber
- Boost Your Brainpower
- Seeds of Life: Chia, Flax, Hemp and Pumpkin
- Microgreens Become Macro Trend to Follow
- Eat Your Way to a Healthy Smile
- Why and How to Get More Vitamin D
- Better Alternatives to Silver Fillings
- 5 Beach Safety Tips
- Traveling Light: Healthy Eating for Business Junketeers
- Healthy Snacks for Energy
- Shape-Shifting 'Tube Robot' Could Aid Heart Surgery
- Better Ways to Get Your Produce
- Cutting-Edge Cuisine Engages Senses Beyond Taste
- Eat for Your Eyesight
- Is It Better to Stop Smoking Abruptly or Gradually?
- Relieve Stress in 5 Minutes or Less
- Best Ways to Soothe Sensitive Teeth
- Turn a Clean Home Into a Healthy Home
- Largest Ever Cell Phone Cancer Study is Inconclusive
- Treating Early-Stage Esophageal Cancer
- TNF Inhibitors Offer Relief to Those With Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Advances in Breast Cancer Screening Helping to Fine-Tune Diagnosis
- First Aid for Summer
- The Microscopic World of Food Nanotechnology
- Screening Plays Key Role in Detecting Polyps Before They Become Cancerous
- Learn How to Read Supplement Labels
- Compression-Only CPR Can Replace Conventional CPR in Many Circumstances
- Diabetes: Could You Have Diabetes and Not Know It
- Fighting Inflammation with Food
- Bad Health Habits Rob Years From Life Span
- Beating Back Pandemics is a Cooperative Crusade
- The Importance of Decreasing Dietary Sodium
- Chocolate Reduces Inflammation Associated with Heart Disease
- Healthy Eating Tips for a Busy Lifestyle
- Olive Oil and Health
- Push for Healthier Diets Means Big Changes for the Food Industry
- How to Identify Suicide Risk Before It's Too Late
- Tips for Natural Allergy Relief
- Inflammation May Play Role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Longevity Revolution Will Restructure Life Around the World
- Maximum Fitness: CrossFit Training
- Tests to Optimize Treatment of Breast Cancer
- Enjoy the Health Benefits of Tea
- Can Your Toothbrush Make You Sick?
- Sunscreen Facts You Need to Know
- When does Knee Replacement Surgery Make Sense
- Is Hefty the New Healthy?
- Best Way to Take Heartburn Medication
- Aerobics Without Heartburn
- Stress Less: Ten Strategies That Work
- Paralyzed Limbs Revived by Hacking Into Nerves
- Take the Work Out of Workout
- Cultivate a Nutrient-Rich Approach to Eating for Life
- Treadmill Test Can Reveal Hidden Problems in Heart
- Researchers Break Through to Unconscious Patients
- Key Factors Related to Heart Attack Risk
- Type 2 Diabetes Increases Risk for Cardiovascular Problems
- Middle-Age Spread and How to Avoid It
- Fiber and Weight Loss: Learn the Secrets
- Hypochondria: The Impossible Illness
- Get the Lead Out: The Less Exposure to This Toxic Metal the Better
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sugar
- Cultivate a Healthy Brain Lifestyle As You Age
- Regular Exercise Helps Protect Aging Brains
- Surgeries Can be Combined But May Not be Necessary
Copyright © 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.