No matter what holidays you celebrate this season, there is one thing that’s almost always involved – food, and lots of it.
Family feasts are a holiday tradition, and they can make it difficult to maintain healthy eating habits. If you’re not careful, your efforts to shed unwanted weight – or at least avoid putting more on – during the winter months can be undone by a barrage of candy, eggnog and pumpkin pie.
In order to keep December celebrations from becoming January regrets, try to keep in mind what the holidays are really about – it’s about people, not food. Concentrate on socializing and having fun. Enjoy conversations with relatives or old friends and don’t feel like you need to eat until you burst.
You should also plan to focus on healthier holiday options. For example, you’ll be better off with chicken or turkey breast than you would be with beef prime rib. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to put a limit on desserts.
Here are some other tips to help you avoid over-indulgence:
- Don’t arrive to a holiday dinner on an empty stomach! You may think that skipping a meal prior to the feast will allow you to splurge, but it will actually just cause you to overeat and consume more calories than you would have if you’d eaten something beforehand.
- Offer to bring a healthy dish. Not only does it keep you from showing up empty-handed, but it makes sure there’s something on the menu you can eat without feeling guilty.
- Avoid excess alcohol, and don’t sit within arm’s length of the snacks. There are calories in every drink and every treat you consume. The more you take in before the meal, the less you can consume once the main course is ready.
- Select small portions. It’s all about moderations, so don’t feel like you need to load down your plate.
- Eat slowly! Take small bites, chew slowly and enjoy the meal. Not only will this help you savor the taste, but it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realize that you’re full. Taking your time is an easy way to avoid overeating.
- Leave the table when you’re finished. If you linger at the table, you’ll be tempted to continue eating even if you’re not hungry. A big part of winning is knowing when to quit.