Rather than expecting to regain your freshman-15 this holiday season, try a new approach. You can now enjoy delicious holiday foods without overindulging and becoming uncomfortably full!
Follow these easy steps to get you through the holidays.
- Make a decision beforehand to eat in moderation. -Limit portion sizes and stop eating when you are full. Try not to partake in seconds unless it’s a freshly steamed vegetable (will fill you up without the added calories).
- Set a personal goal and stick to it! (ex: allowing yourself only one serving of each food item, or not having to unbutton your pants halfway through the meal from being overstuffed)
- Limit your appetizer feast! If appetizers are served, keep in mind that the main meal is yet to come. Limit yourself to just a few, or skip them all together.
- Beware of the Nut Bowl! Watch out for sneaky calories in the form of bowls of nuts and candy. Move away from the temptation if you have to as these are very easy to grab handfuls of without realizing how many you’ve eaten.
- Consider plate size: Choose a smaller plate or imagine a food boundary line. We typically eat with our eyes, so eating from a larger plate gives us the green light to eat more food. However, eating from (or imagining) a smaller plate physically limits the amount of food and you'll be just as satisfied without becoming overstuffed.
- Beware the Buffet! Avoid it if possible, as buffets guarantee overeating. If you can’t avoid it, survey the buffet beforehand to decide which foods you will eat and stick to the plan. Avoid overload by following the rule of “S“ (Savor Small Samples)*Take a sample of each item instead of a heaping portion.
- Dismiss the “clean plate rule.” Enact the "lean plate" rule - taking less food or leaving more on the plate ensures that you will take in fewer calories.
- Save Room for Dessert! If you plan on eating dessert, eat less of your meal. It's ok to indulge, just make sure you are counting those calories. Try splitting desserts with a family member or friend. You will both eat less and still be satisfied. You can also take a sliver of each dessert you want to eat instead of a whole slice or piece. Keep in mind 10 small slices to add up so only take 2 or 3 at most. Sometimes only a bite is all you need.
- Drink in moderation. Alcohol calories can really add up. Click here for our guide to alcohol. Choose a smaller glass and savor the drink. You may want to avoid shots in favor of enjoying a drink you can sip over a period of time. Alternate one glass of alcohol or other caloric beverage with one glass of water. This will get you fuller and drinking less.
Enjoying the holidays doesn’t mean you have to give up on your diet. Just follow a few of these tips and you’ll enjoy the holidays without packing on the pounds.