When it comes to the Holidays, food always seems to play a big role in almost every cultural celebration. One of the best ways to keep overeating in check during the holidays, is to first acknowledge and accept that there will be a lot of food temptations and there’s really no way around that. Once you’ve recognized that fact, the next thing is to arm yourself with an attitude by which you’ll approach enjoying holiday food, but without overdoing it. And starving yourself all day before a Holiday Meal almost always ends up with disastrous results too, so that’s not the answer either!
Here are a few tips and ideas for eating around the holidays that will help keep your diet on track all the way through to New Years:
- Make half your plate non-starchy veggies
- Non-starchy veggies are low in calories and are loaded with fiber meaning that if you fill up on the greens, you’ll feel full and be less likely to overeat.
- Fill up on protein
- Your second biggest portion should go to protein. Protein will also help you to feel full and prevent you from overeating.
- Limit your sweets and refined grains
- It’s okay to have a little- after all it is the holidays. Just don’t overdo the sweets and breads. Before even looking at the dessert table you should have a plate full of protein rich foods and healthy vegetables.
- Take it slow
- Pace yourself when eating. It takes 20 minutes to feel satiated, so eating slower will help you to listen to your body and know when you’ve have enough.
- Don’t arrive to the party hungry
- Have a healthy meal or snack before the party so you’ll be less likely to overeat or make impulsive food choices.
- Keep with your exercise routine
- As tempting as it is to want to stay in on those cold days it’s important to keep up with an exercise routine to not only burn off those extra calories but to put that extra food towards building muscle, and not just fat storage.
- Buffet it
- If you’re the host, don’t put the food on the table. Instead, set up a buffet. For many, if they are forced to get up to get seconds or thirds, they are less likely to do so than if the food is in arms reach.
- Watch your liquid calories
- From hot apple cider to alcoholic beverages, liquid calories are still calories that are often overlooked and can add up fast.
- Don’t beat yourself up
- If you do overeat, don’t punish yourself by starving yourself the next day. Overeating then restricting yourself constantly wreaks havoc on your glucose and insulin levels, which are necessary for an optimal metabolism. Instead, just get back to your normal healthy eating routine and be more mindful of what you are putting in your body and how much the next time.
Rachel Scheer is a Certified Nutritionist who received her degree from Baylor University in Nutrition Science and Dietetics. Rachel has her own private nutrition and counseling practice located in McKinney, Texas. Rachel has helped clients with a wide range of nutritional needs enhance their athletic performance, improve their physical and mental health, and make positive lifelong eating and exercise behavior changes.