Happy Monday! Already December 8th…can you believe it? Only 2.5 weeks until Christmas Day!!
I am sure many of you have already been attending holiday parties and gatherings, but there are probably more to come in the near future with the New Year around the corner as well. The holidays are times to be around people you love…and around a bunch of food in the kitchen (haha). What type of strategies do you have to prevent yourself from overeating? Maybe you do not have any yet which is why I’m writing this post for you! There are so many great ideas for eating healthy around the holidays…my advice is to read through these tips I am about to offer and apply the ones that you think will work best for YOU.
1. Do not skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat something like a piece of fruit or veggies dipped in hummus to curb your appetite. A snack high in fiber will help keep you full and satisfied longer. This can help with over indulging right when you get there.
2. Scan foods before you eat them AKA have a game plan. Choose foods that you will definitely eat, foods that will you only sample, and foods you will completely skip. Try filling up on the fruit and veggies first to not only get in healthy nutrients but to also prevent from over eating something less nutritious. I’m not saying you have to hang out by the veggie tray all night…but be mindful of your portions when moving on to other foods.
3. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor not only the food but the company around you. Enjoy the company and catching up with family and friends… sit down and relax!
4. Move socializing away from the food. This is a big one that can be difficult for some. However, moving conversation to the patio/away from the food can help minimize unconscious nibbling. Also don’t rush to eat. Socialize a little bit first, enjoy some of the festivities and then grab some delicious food!
5. Don’t sabotage your entire diet just because you had 1 “bad” day. The average American believe it or not will only gain 1 pound during the holiday months. This weight gain isn’t dramatic but research shows it tends to stick and accumulate over the years. It takes 500 calories extra each day (or 3500 calories/week) to gain 1 pound. But remember…just because you had 1 piece of pie it’s not the end of the world 🙂
6. Feel like the host of the part won’t be making anything healthy? Go ahead and bring your own healthy dish! Recently we had a party at my moms house and my friend brought a quinoa, beet and goat cheese salad… everyone loved it!
7. Do not show up to a party starving. This sort of ties in with tip #1, but many people think since they are going to a party later they need to save up calories. I would recommend still having a balanced breakfast and lunch but cutting the portions down a little to still “save room” for some party foods. Showing up to the party super hungry will put you at risk for having minimum control of how much you eat…and what you eat!
8. Let’s not forget about liquid calories. Egg nog and alcoholic beverages rapidly stack on the calories without you really thinking about it…and it’s easy to lose track of how many you’ve have as well. Try to drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage or sugary drink. This can help cut back on consuming extra calories and also help to fill you up!
9. Use a smaller plate. Several studies have shown the benefits of using a smaller plate and calories consumed. This is such a simple trick to help you eat less and keep portions controlled.
10. Practice mindful eating. Eat slowly and savor each bite. Before going back for seconds, wait about 10-15 minutes to check in with yourself to see if you really are still hungry. By paying more attention to what you eat, you’re more likely to make beneficial changes.
I hope these have been helpful, try applying 1-2 of these tips at the next holiday party you attend!
Make it a productive week!