Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Italian “I ate too much over the Holidays” Diets

Life is about balance. Splurging over the holidays, satisfying those desires for the comfort foods, the great wines and chatting all day long with the family, invariably requires a bit of post holiday sacrifice. At one time January began the heavy work of preparing the fields for the spring so the holidays were an occasion to build up some extra energy that would be needed for the hard days in the cold weather. Diets are necessary in today’s hurry up and wait world, sitting behind a computer all day and driving here and there instead of walking.

The US most common stereotype of Italian women is the “Pasta Mamma”, four feet high and four feet wide, but nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, obesity is becoming a problem in the younger generations but high self-esteem is still a dominant in Italian culture and they do not wait, just hoping those pounds will melt away. When you put on a few pounds over the holidays it is best to attack the problem immediately and the after holiday diets are already in place, even though the holidays are not over yet.

A few thoughts regarding a successful diet are:

  • Always weigh your food portions;

  • Eliminate Processed snacks, cheetos and the likes, soda pop and other carbonated drinks;

  • Never fast (it is all about increasing metabolism);

  • Drink a lot of water it will help the body metabolize the extra fat;

  • Never deprive yourself of things you want to eat, just eat less;

  • Weight is about calories, fad diets are just that, fads, and usually do not work;

  • Try to increase your physical activity say parking the car at the far end of the parking lot or even walking;

  • Cook your own food, industrial products, even from the grocery store, have a higher caloric content than the same dish made at home;

  • Restaurants serve food that is very high in salt and other flavor enhancers, avoid them at all costs.

  • These diets are designed around the type of food you like to eat and most likely ate too much of over the holidays. They are based on the normal Mediterranean diet so they will be balanced including carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and olive oil. The quantities indicated are for a woman of average height. A man of average height should add about 30% to the indicated quantities. Most importantly, be patient, you should never lose more than 2 pounds a week and one pound is easier on the body and the mind.

    Check out the diets:

    If you love Carbohydrates
    If your passion is Meat
    When Appetizers are Undeniable
    If Candy and Sweets are a Cross to Bear
    When Snacks are more important than meals
    Combating the Alcohol Splurges

    Remember, proper nutrition is about balance. If you crave something and deny yourself you will fail. The failure will then become a reward for failure and every time you try to get your weight under control, you will fail.


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    Blogger RennyBA said...

    A great reminder after all this Yule dish - in Norway especially:-)

    1:37 PM

    Blogger Travel Italy said...

    Renny It is nice of you not to ask why I was looking for the Italian after holiday diets!

    2:39 PM


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