Put your money where your mouth is: Instead of skipping dental appointments, ask your dentist for a cash discount if you don’t have dental insurance.read more
BY: Denise Foley
Thanksgiving kicks off a holiday food festival that doesn’t end till the last scoop of seven-layer dip is gone on New Year’s Day. Over those six weeks, we put on an average of 1 pound (don’t congratulate yourself -- studies show it never comes off) and eat so many sticky carbs and sugar that the bacteria in our mouths have their own feast, creating a cavity-causing acid bath.
The solution? Indulge! That’s right: Research shows that we’re more likely to go overboard if we’re trying to deprive ourselves than if we do what brings us pleasure. “The whole cut-back-and-make-yourself-miserable plan is a recipe for failure,” says Melissa McCreery, Ph.D., a psychologist and the founder of life-coaching practice Too Much on Her Plate. “The key is not to survive the holidays, but to savor them.”
Here’s how to indulge without regret:
Choose your favorite food -- whether it’s a glass of eggnog, your aunt’s black bottom pie or a side of sausage stuffing -- and really enjoy it. “If you’re feeling guilty about it, you’re not enjoying the experience,” says McCreery. “Eat it mindfully. When I’m eating wonderful chocolate, I’m tasting it, feeling it melt in my mouth.” You’ll eat less if you savor every bite.
Even some healthy party foods are surprisingly indulgent. Make smart swaps when you can.
Don’t let your holidays get so stressful and hectic that you don’t have time to relax with the people you love. “One thing people never put on their to-do lists are the experiences they want to have,” says McCreery. “Plan ahead for the time you want to spend with family. Decide what you want your life to be rich with over the holidays and go for it.
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