Holiday Eating TipsHave a pre-party plan. If you know you’re going to be faced with a seemingly endless array of food choices at a given event, force yourself to stop and think about what you’d most like to eat before taking your place in line. The fact is, many of us have eyes that end up being bigger than our stomachs, but we feel compelled to join the clean plate club regardless.
“If you have a tendency to overindulge, recognizing that fact is half the battle." “Promise yourself that you’ll choose an appropriate amount of food in order to feel satisfied, not stuffed!”
Focus on your friends and family—not the food. When you walk into your company’s holiday party or your daughter’s dance recital, don’t hone in on the snack table. While the hors d’oeuvres table might be crowded with treats and people, focus on socializing with friends and family instead of on the food. Remember, conversation is calorie-free!
“There are so many activities during the season that food doesn’t have to be your main focus." “When you go to holiday gatherings, slow down and enjoy the atmosphere and then think about eating. Most people will already be on their second (or third!) plates, and you’ll still be on track with your healthy lifestyle.”
Don’t show up starving. At one point or another, we’ve all been guilty of starving ourselves before food-filled festivities, figuring that our hunger will enable us to enjoy the bounty all the more. Well, that’s a flawed theory. Going to a party starving only causes you to unwittingly eat too much in too short of a time frame.
“You may have noticed: It’s hard to enjoy food, not to mention make good choices, when you’re ravenous,” she points out. “To avoid mindless overload, try eating a small bowl of broth-based soup or other light morsel before leaving home. It’ll knock the edge off your hunger without costing tons of calories. Also, if you know you’re going to an appetizer party, have your regular meal at home and stick to a small dessert and drink at the event. Appetizers lead to overeating because the mind sees small quantities and keeps asking for more.”
Go for the H2O. Hot chocolate, hot toddies, eggnog, peppermint tea, and wassail are just a sampling of the many popular holiday drinks you’ll be confronted with. Enjoy them in moderation, yes…but don’t forget about good old water! Keeping a full glass at your desk or a bottle in your car can be one of your best allies in the battle of preventing the bulge.
“It’s so important to be aware of hydration!” “Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water as you stay busy with holiday activities. Dehydration can make you feel fatigued and can make you confuse thirst with hunger, which causes overeating.”
Put veggies in the vanguard. Be honest—you know that “pre-ssert” is a bad idea. So don’t act shocked when you don’t have room for anything else after sampling every type of sweet treat available. Better yet, avoid this pitfall by eating your vegetables first.
“Most of us would like to believe that calories and fat don’t count during the holidays, but that’s just not how it works. “Part of eating mindfully is making a decent amount of healthy choices. And honestly, veggies can be pretty tasty!”