Stress and the holidays

Life is stressful right now, and most of you are also faced with the holidays right around the corner.

Those types of stresses can drive a person to want to eat. So I have a few ideas that I hope will help you to stay motivated and help you to eat well.

• Remember, no matter how stressed you are, food will not help. Food won't take away the issues causing you stress.

• Relax: Worrying is not going to help. It won't change anything.

• Take control: Gaining control of situations in your life will help you gain control of your weight. You might ask how?

• Create a routine: Sticking to a regular eating schedule will help prevent hunger and overeating. For example, have your meals at the same time every day. You might say that is impossible. No, it is not. It will take some planning. It might mean getting up 10 minutes earlier in the morning or eating on the way to work, packing a lunch and having something in the crock pot cooking while you are at work and a salad in the fridge. This will take some practice, but just think how many calories, time and money this will save you.

• Consume a balanced diet. Getting all of your nutrients will help you to feel full and satisfied. Empty calories will only make you hungrier.

• Watch your portion sizes.

• Make exercise a part of your life. Make an effort to be physically active every day.

• Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. For example, ask your waiter for light dressing on the side, or your salad without the cheese and croutons. Tell them how you want your meal prepared - baked or grilled instead of fried.

• Tell others how they can help you. Let your co-workers, friends and family know how their support will help you succeed. Ask them not to involve food at every get-together or meeting.

• Find a partner to work with. You and a friend working toward the same goals can be motivating and encouraging.

• Get plenty of rest. Getting enough rest contributes to your success.

Changing eating behaviors involves focus and control. When you are tired, it can be difficult to focus and control emotions. You are more likely to lose motivation and suffer burnout.

People need 7-8 hours of sleep to allow their bodies to rebuild and regenerate. Some become accustomed to sleeping only 3-6 hours a night. Eventually, the lack of rest affects their physical and emotional state.

If you have a busy schedule, make sure you have enough rest in your schedule. Rest will help you have a clear mind and high energy levels to practice eating behaviors that will help you lose weight.

Also remember to pamper yourself. Learn to relax and reward yourself without food, such as a manicure, pedicure, massage or a nice bubble bath.

If you feel like you have tried everything and nothing is working, please call me or stop by the Diet Center, 1848 Hope Ave., in Kingman or call (928) 753-5066 or send an e-mail to dietcenteraz@yahoo.com.