You try to eat healthy, exercise and take care of yourself. Enter the holidays. The period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s seems to be a non-stop food temptation - the holiday parties with friends and family, the endless office cookies, the homemade food gifts from neighbors, grandma’s famous pies, the eggnog, and of course, the big feasts,
Most Americans put on at least a pound or two during this period and never lose that weight, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.However, there are some simple strategies to help you enjoy the holidays, indulge your sweet tooth (a little) and not over do it.
It’s okay to have an occasional treat or partake in the buttery mashed potatoes you usually skip. The key is to do it in very small amounts. Using portion control will satisfy your cravings, but not pack on the pounds. It’s not about depriving yourself, but being in control. Also, remember that ordering a seasonal pumpkin latte everyday for two months is not a treat - it’s a habit.
Eat Before an Event
Don't go to a party hungry. Try to eat a small, nutritious snack beforehand. If you do arrive hungry, drink some water to fill up before filling your plate.
Focus on making conversation at a gathering instead of the food. Spend time enjoying your friends’ company or dancing or networking (if it’s a business event). Also, when you are chatting with people it’s harder to be putting food in your mouth and chewing.
Use Small Plates
Attending an event or dinner that served buffet style is a huge temptation to overindulge. Use the smallest possible plate and don’t pile on the food. Opt for the healthier choices first - shrimp cocktail, fresh fruit, and veggies. If you still feel hungry you can go back and a have a small helping of the more-fattening foods. But it’s likely that the first plate will fill you up and you won’t even want more.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Not only does alcohol have a high calories count, but it lowers your ability to control what what you eat. Consume too much alcohol and you’ll also likely make bad food choices. We’ve all regretted that huge slice of greasy pizza at 2am,
Offer a Healthy Alternative
Don’t worry about what dishes are considered traditional when planning your own menu or attending a potluck. Make a lower calorie, healthy dish that will be a lighter, welcome choice to all the heavy foods. Think about making a great winter salad or a healthy grain side dish. Plus, if you make something healthy that you love, you’re more likely to eat it and skip the other more fattening alternatives.
Take a Walk
Delay the dessert and instead start a new tration and go for a family walk after the big meal. The exercise will help you digest. In addition, the physical movement is good for you and makes you feel in control. When you’re in control, you will likely make better choices. When you return from the walk, you may not even want that slice of pie.