We know it’s coming and we know it’s going to happen; the holidays have rolled around again. One of the most notorious things that happen during the holiday seasons is over eating, and it’s easy to understand why, the food is so good! Not only is the food amazing but also the holiday seasons tend to bring up a lot of emotions and stress for a lot of people. For some people these can be good emotions and for others bad ones, either way our emotions can make us eat more than usual. Don’t get me wrong, you deserve to enjoy yourself, but if you’re worried about enjoying TOO much then try some of these tricks to prevent yourself from over eating.
Recognize and Respect your emotions
Your emotions are a powerful force; they can easily control the decisions you make. Usually these emotions end up being the reason why most people eat more then they’d like during the holiday season. The best thing to do is mentally preparing yourself for the day ahead and reminding yourself of your nutritional goals. If necessary, make it known to the people you’re around so they don’t try to encourage you to over indulge.
Organize your plate
Try organizing your plate differently this year. The best way to prevent yourself from eating too many high calorie foods is to divide your plate up. Also try finishing your plate before reaching for seconds if necessary. Try following this image as a guideline to set up your plate in a way that won’t overload it with too many high calorie foods
Keep your hands busy
A lot of calories that we eat around the holidays comes not from the big meal itself, but the snacks and hor devours that are set out before you even sit down to the table. One method to prevent yourself from enjoying too many of these snacks and hor devours is to keep your hands busy. Try keeping your hands in your pockets, or holding something so that it’s not as easy to let those idle hands reaching for too much food.
Drink plenty of water
Not only is water free of calories, but also when consumed with food it helps fill you up faster. Try having a sip of water with every 5 bites of food while eating and try drinking a glass of water before sitting down to dinner.
Start low and end high
Organize your plate mentally from foods that are the lowest calories to the highest calories and eat in that progression. This typically looks like eating the vegetables first, then followed by the carbohydrates of the meal and then the meat. This will allow your body’s natural chemical signals to tell itself to stop eating before you get to the most calorie dense foods thereby allowing yourself to eat less total calories.
Watch out for the sauces/ condiments
One of the biggest sources of calories typically comes from the sauces or condiments. There’s seems to be a tendency to take extra gravy or cranberry sauce with your food which will add extra calories. Additionally, people also seem to tend to get extra bread or carbohydrates to ‘soak up’ the extra sauces further adding more calories. Watch out for this and use a modest amount of sauces/ condiments.