Just in time for the holidays, comes the New England Journal of Medicine, the Scrooge of medical publications, with the news that after smoking and drinking, nothing increases your risk of early death like a fat tummy. It turns out all that visceral fat around your belly, which is different from the fat, say on your thighs or arms, triggers deadly chemical interactions leading to early death from heart disease and other killers.
All is not lost for the health challenged. WebMD offers a three-point plan for keeping weight off over the holidays.
- Recognize that eating too much is triggered by emotional cues more than environmental cues. You are more likely to overeat because holidays bring up happy or sad memories, than because you are tempted by the scent of warm pumpkin pie, according to a recent study in the journal Obesity. Become aware of the emotions you are feeling before reaching for the pie.
- Make a detailed plan before you hit the party circuit.Those who wing it are lost, according to a recent study in Behavior Research and Therapy. Learn to cope with desire, rather than avoid temptation. Carry a list of reasons you want to lose weight. Read the list outloud to yourself before you go out, just as you would a work presentation.
- If you forget your list, practice mindful eating. Be present to the fork in your hand and the food in your mouth. Taste what you eat.