Avoid Over-Indulging During the Holidays
December 3, 2014
Skip the over-eating stress and follow our tips for a healthier holiday
Be Smart About Holiday Snacking
Avoiding serious overindulgence is really about smart eating. Avoid heavy items, opting for fresh vegetables whenever possible. Take a smaller piece of pie. Slow down and actually savor your food. It is easy to resist the temptation to stuff yourself to the gills this holiday season. Take some of our tips with you to the dinner table.
Avoid Heavy Dishes
You'll still need to be conscious of how much you put on your plate, but grabbing green beans, other fresh vegetables, and lighter dishes will leave you feeling more satisfied and less heavy than cream-laden potatoes and cheese-draped casseroles would.
Beware of Dessert
Pumpkin pie, apple pie, chocolate silk pie, pecan pie. Holidays are rife with desserts that can be hard to turn down. Instead of eating a slice of every pie, choose the one that you like most and just have an average slice. You'll feel less guilty and less stuffed.
Drinking water every few bites will help fill your belly. Instead of stuffing in four more bites of the Christmas goose or sneaking more chocolate Hanukkah gelt, you'll feel fuller sooner and will stop before you've gone too far.
It's known as “the most important meal of the day” for a reason. Eating a good breakfast will allow you to feel full longer, leaving less room for needless snacking. Be sure to include some protein to keep you going throughout the day.
It is a holiday, so a little indulgence is expected. To avoid overeating, choose one or two small indulgences ahead of time and keep the rest of the meal light. If the loaded mashed potatoes are your thing, go for it. But take a small portion and plan out the rest of your meal around eating those heavy potatoes.
It can be really hard to control your portion sizes during the holidays, since everything tastes delicious. But you'll no doubt be sent home with tons of leftovers, too. Take it easy the first time around and keep portion sizes reasonable. If you volunteer to bring a dish, consider splitting it up into smaller portions ahead of time, to make things easier for everyone. Bring mini spinach quiche cups instead of a giant platter, or cut your pie into 16 slices instead of eight. You'll eat smaller portions without even thinking of it, leaving you with comfortable room instead of feeling like you overdid it.
One of the easiest ways to overeat — during the Holidays or any other time — is by eating too quickly. You stuff your face and by the time you stop for air, you've shoveled in three servings of turkey with gravy. To avoid this, slow down — put your fork down between bites and take your time. You'll enjoy your meal more and will feel fuller faster instead of getting overstuffed.
Snack on Healthy Appetizers
Any holiday meal worth its salt will include a delicious appetizer array beforehand. Grab a few vegetable sticks and some dip or a few cheese and cracker slices before dinner (but only a few!). You'll feel fuller and will be less inclined to eat too much.
Think About Why You’re Eating
Perhaps grandma has asked you again why you aren't married yet. Or your brother brought up that embarrassing story from fourth grade. Maybe you eat those extra few bites to cope with your feelings of anxiety. Think about why you might be eating and try to divert those feelings into something else, like changing the subject gracefully, or plotting revenge with an even better story.