The holiday season is days away, and with it comes the more-than-you-typically eat meals, hard-to-pass-up leftovers and inevitable gain in inches around the middle. Brad Lamm, “star whisper,” founder of Breathe Life Healing Centers, and creator and producer of the docu-series “Addicted to Food” on OWN, specializes in helping people break down the mental roadblocks that can stand in the way of diet success, and shared with us some very simple tips to enjoy the season—without going overboard. (Bonus: A lot can be used in all the non-holiday days.)
Distract Yourself From Food: When you have the urge to binge, let your brain do the work. “Think about it: You create stories about yourself all the time. The brain is a powerful storyteller, so use some easy breezy distractions to move your attention from FOOD to something else. Distractions interrupt you and allow the craving the craving to pass. Call a friend, take a bath, read a book, listen to music. Intentionally change your reality and see where it takes you as one thought passes to make room for an action.”
Snack Right: Lamm says that, very often, a small amount of healthful food can take away the hunger pang. “A half glass of whole or 2 percent milk is filling, if milk is your thing. I love it and it fills me up.”
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Ghost the Treats: This one is kind of simple: Keep the treats that make you binge out of your house. “Ghost them. Out of sight…out of mind. If they’re not in your field of vision, they won’t TALK TO YOU.”
Change Your Route: If you know that driving past the yummiest doughnut shop on the planet will set you off intention, it is best to take a different route.
Deprivation Doesn’t Work: This one is specific for the holidays. “Remember that urges will come to pass, so visualize cravings as something temporary that you’re able to move through. After all, you don’t want to spend the New Year having a negative outlook on your body. Rather, watch your portion sizes. Eat a small portion without guilt. You’re more likely to be satisfied with a small amount of the real thing.”
Eat With a Measured Pace: Lamm says it takes your brain at least 20 minutes to signal that your stomach is full. So give your belly some time for your just-three-pound brain to catch up.
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Water Makes You Full: You know you know this one, but do you practice it? “I drink, therefore I am full. Make less space for junk, by filling your stomach with water. It is important to drink water between and during meals – this will help you feel full faster so you don’t end up mindlessly snacking or binging. I feel full, therefore I am full,” Lamm says.
Pass on the Pecan Pie: Lamm says this is the WORST Thanksgiving food you can eat. “It has the highest sugar and calorie content of all the traditional Thanksgiving Day–pie options. It’s basically sugar and butter on a plate. But, we all have our trigger foods that send us off the rails so remember that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and avoid the foods that you don’t make peace with.”
But Get Seconds of Sweet Potatoes: “In my opinion, aside from steamed veggies, the best option would be sweet potatoes because they check a lot of boxes—they satisfy the sweet craving, the savory craving, and the carb craving. As long as you don’t load them with butter, brown sugar and other empty-calorie condiments, you’re in business.”