This is the time of year where we receive dinner invites, go on holiday, or just gather with our loved ones. Usually, these events have food as the main event. Because let’s face it, food has become more about the social experience, than to simply fuel our bodies. We chat over hors d’oeuvres as we catch up with friends, then there are the snacks sitting out to enjoy before the main meal and of course the variety of desserts to choose from. Don’t fall victim to the “day after guilt” because you didn’t mean to eat so much.
It’s been said that most people will experience some sort of weight gain during the last 2 months of the year. So, besides the New Year’s Resolution tradition, when January rolls around and people realize the needle on the scale has gone to the right instead of the left, they scramble to drop those holiday pounds.
We can still enjoy this wonderful time of year, without the worry of the effect on our waist later. Below are some tips to help you avoid overeating and allow you to stay on track with the health and wellness goals we are working on together, throughout Chanukah and the year-end festivities.
SET AN INTENTION
Set an intention for how you would like your evening to go. Do you want to make sure to drink enough water? Eat slowly? Fill your plate once? Etc. Decide how you would like it to look and set your intentions. Be intentional about what you say “yes” and “no” to when you are offered something tasty at a gathering. Go prepared to have one thing you really want and limit your snacking. Even little snacks here and there throughout the day quickly add up. If you aren’t intentional, before you know it, you will slip into bad habits surrounding your relationship with food that will carry over into the days and weeks following the holiday party.
Start your day off with a healthy breakfast so that by the time you sit down to your meal you won’t be starving. I get it, we wake up and hit the ground running. It is so easy to forget to eat and sometimes we make ourselves believe there isn’t time for a quick bite. No EXCUSE! Breakfast is a must. If you struggle with quick breakfast ideas check out this video I shared with the Busy And Healthy Moms Facebook Group for speedy, tasty breakfast ideas.
DRINK YOUR WATER
We often mistake thirst for hunger. Make sure that you are properly hydrated to avoid snacking and overeating. Take a water bottle with you and refill it as needed. Drink water throughout the day, have a glass before, during and after your meal. You will have a desire to eat less and you fill fuller.
DON’T PICK…MAKE A PLATE
It’s easy to lose track of what you are eating when you take a little nibble here and there, take spoonfuls of tastes in the kitchen etc. It adds up quickly without realizing it. Limiting you eating to a plated sit down meal, allows you to get an accurate picture of what you are eating. You will be able to monitor your portions and have the visual satisfaction of a plated complete meal. Make yourself a plate, sit down and enjoy it.
EAT YOUR GREENS
Fill up your plate with greens, first. Starting off with greens which are chock-full of nutrients and fiber will help balance your meal and help ensure that you don’t go too overboard. Because greens are low in calories and high in fiber, you will be full and won’t desire as much of the unhealthy options that often find its way to the dinner table during this time of year. Also, don’t just fill your plate with them, eat them first and eat them slowly. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to realize you are full. So, by using this tip you might have room for dessert.
Ha! did somebody say dessert? Don’t deprive yourself of a sweet treat, just don’t eat everything on the dessert table. Decide which dessert you really want, take one serving and savor and enjoy every bite of it! If you’ve used some of the tips above, you have no reason to feel bad about this indulgence. You deserve it! Plus, trying not to have any sweets could send you into a moment of weakness that will result in a plate full of a variety of goodies you devour. DON’T DO IT!
I hope these tips help you to feel confident about enjoying the festivities to come.