More holidays are around the bend, which means abundant feasting and making merry with friends and family. Eating healthy while surrounded by a stream of tempting dishes can bring a challenge at the lunch, dinner and dessert tables. You can help yourself to a second piece of pie or practice a few doable ways that will help you rein in unhealthy eating and still bring on the cheer.
Get your snooze on
Sleep for at least seven hours prior to the night of festivities. Men and women who slept less than the recommended time consumed more calories and preferred calorie-dense foods.
When you buffet, choose wisely
The first foods you choose in a buffet-style meal are the foods you will consume the most of. We suggest picking the carrots and veggie dips with hummus or a similar low-calorie appetizer to keep you full as the meal progresses.
An appetizer plate is great
Choosing a smaller plate at lunch or dinner will trick your brain into thinking you’re helping yourself to huge portions. On average, an adult consumes 3,000 calories during a holiday meal. The smaller plate will cut that to less than half, at 1,200 calories for the whole meal. Drinks can be poured into tall, skinny glasses to pour 30 percent less into your vessel. The size of the serving utensil matters too! By using a smaller scoop, you’ll serve yourself less than if it were a larger size.
Gobble, gobble is for the birds
Save the gobble for the turkeys. Nibble should be your mantra during the holiday feasts. Chewing food slowly helps your brain think you’re getting fuller faster. You’ll end up eating less than if you scarfed down your food in a jiffy.
Bring your own dish (BYOD). You can indulge in any healthy dish you bring. If the host’s soup is cream-based, for example, bring your own favorite vegetable-based soup for a healthier option. Remember to always ask the host if you can bring something to share!
Pre-fill before the big meal
Grab some healthy foods before the big meal to curb your appetite. If it’s lunch you’re attending, make sure to eat a big breakfast. Or, just have a healthy snack prior to a big meal.
It’s not easy staying on track with decadent dishes served up only once a year. But abiding by these few tips can help curb your cravings while you still enjoy the holidays!