The holiday season is upon us again and so are all the gatherings, parties and tempting edibles. Although the holiday season is a time for celebration and joy, it is certainly not without its fair share of stress. Scheduling and organizing, shopping and spending, entertaining and accommodating are just a few of the stresses we all experience during the season.
The one holiday stressor I did not mention however, seems to be increasing in popularity year after year, calorie controlled food choices. Thousands of magazines, newspapers, T.V shows and internet sites will bombard their subscribers with “great tasting” low calorie, low fat, low carbohydrate, low-sodium, no gluten, no dairy, no additives, farm raised and organic only.., meal ideas.
Food has always been a major component of the holidays. In the “good old days” food was an exciting part of any holiday event, from grandma’s secret side dish recipe to moms freshly baked pies, everybody looked forward to the many mouthwatering holiday delights. However in the past 10 or 20 years something is changed. Holiday meal planning has become a stressful event in an effort to please everybody’s specific dietary requirements.
Our dietary concerns are certainly understandable with diseases and health conditions like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease and cancer plaguing our society today. But are we going about it the right way? Do we really need to add one more stress factor to what is supposed to be a joyous and celebratory time? Should we alter, degrade or discard grandma’s favorite recipes? The answer is No! And here’s why.
One of two things will be true this holiday season, either you got plenty of physical activity and routinely made wise nutritional choices throughout this past year and therefore the few holiday events will make no difference what-so-ever in your health and body composition. Or.., you were not physically active and you did not regularly make good nutritional choices and therefore the few holiday events will still make no difference what-so-ever in your health and body composition. Either way, don’t stress out or ruin yours or anyone else’s holiday event, because it just doesn’t matter anyway!
Let’s be brutally honest here, no matter how visually enticing the full color glossy photo is, no matter how well written the recipe is and no matter who endorsed it, the fact remains the same. Low calorie, low fat or low carbohydrate dishes never taste as great as the “real” thing.
Look at it this way, there are 365 days in a year. If you added up all the holidays throughout the year, including your birthday and a few friends and family member’s birthdays, even though in some special engagements, they might all add up to 20 days or so. That represents only 5% of your total intake throughout the entire year. The point is, it’s the other 95% that makes a difference not the few holiday meals. If you really want to make a difference in your health and fitness, try being more active and make better nutritional choices during non-holiday and special events, next year.
So in short, this year forget about trying that “great tasting” low calorie, low fat, low carbohydrate meal idea and enjoy the holiday season the way it is supposed to be enjoyed; good company, good times and.., good food.