Post Holiday Eating Rant

With the holidays behind us and the Super Bowl just over a week away, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about “how to eat healthy on holidays” or “healthy holiday recipes”.  Just yesterday, I was watching the news and they had a segment with a “registered dietitian” and she was showing us how to make all of these delicious traditional Super Bowl recipes “healthy”… are you kidding me?  You’re telling me to eat some low fat pizza or some strange tofu dipping wings while I watch the last football game of the year?  No way…not for me!  Why aren’t you on TV all year long, showing people some healthy breakfast or dinner recipes to make for their families on a regular basis?

I for one make sacrifices most days of the year just so that I can indulge, or even overindulge on chosen occasions (like the Super Bowl). I’m going to give you my thoughts on why eating “healthy” on holidays and special occasions is a ridiculous method that many “serial dieters” attempt year after year (usually failing in the long term).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to people doing whatever they can to improve their health when they have the opportunity. However, I do have a problem with the fact that what I see is total hypocrisy.  We live in a culture where most people live their life like every day is a party, eating whatever crosses their path just because it’s there, it’s easy or fast and they are hungry.  Not to mention, the food that some parents give their children, I wouldn’t give to a dog.  Then the holidays come and the entire country starts freaking out about how much weight they gained throughout the year and some even attempt to eat “healthy” during this time (again, unfortunately most will fail and gain weight anyway).

It really frustrates me how the mass media approaches the obesity epidemic in this country.  I can tell you this; the problem is not because people overindulge on holidays and special occasions!  The problem is that people overindulge every  other day of the year! (and more during the holiday season).

On top of this, the food being served to our children in schools is garbage and physical education is virtually non-existent in many schools in this country.  I’m not blaming this problem on the school systems completely because it all starts at home and we all know who is to blame (whether parents want to hear it or not!)

All of this has already led our society to massive increases in health-care costs  (ie: diabetes, heart disease and cancer).  The problem is only getting worse and the solution is clear.  It’s so clear that I don’t even have to write about it because everyone already knows the answer  (well most probably do).

If our society was eating well even 75% of the year, and exercising regularly (that’s a whole other topic) most of us would be able to eat whatever we want in excess on these special days without any guilt, or even a concern of weight gain, or long term negative health problems.  So, enjoy those wings, pizza (please, no low-fat variety for me) and have a few beers (light is OK) while watching the game next Sunday… but remember, it comes to an end when you wake up Monday morning.

If you can be strong enough to make the right decisions about what you’re eating and doing all year long, when the holiday’s and special occasions arrive, you can enjoy every type of food that is available without any risk whatsoever!

“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.” ~Author Unknown

Jim O’Hagan
Strength For Life

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