You know the winter holiday season has arrived when you feel your willpower falling faster than the temperature outside. Holidays can create a perfect storm when it comes to overeating – you’re in a festive mood relaxing with friends and family, and everywhere you look, there are rich sauces and even richer desserts.
By following a few simple yet highly effective guidelines, you’ll outsmart your impulse to keep spooning on the gravy and nibbling on sweets all night.
Planning for the party
If you’re attending a potluck, bring a healthy entrée that you enjoy, so that even if all the other guests bring deep fried selections, you’ll have a dish you can indulge in guilt-free.
Enlist a friend who’s also attending the party to be your partner in eating sensibly. Make a pact that you’ll keep each other’s indulgences in check while still making sure you both have a good time.
If you’re hosting a party, you’re in control – so substitute low-fat ingredients whenever possible, such as replacing cream with skim milk or yogurt, and use low-sodium, low-fat broths.
Day of the party
It’s breakfast time, and you think you can start making up for some of the excess calories you’ll pick up later by skipping breakfast now. Think again. It’s tempting to skip meals during the day to try to balance out our caloric intake. All too often, however, this strategy backfires. Once you’re surrounded by scrumptious sauces and desserts, hunger sets in, increasing the possibility to overeat. Have a healthy snack right before the party as well. That way, you won’t make a beeline to the appetizer table.
At the party
When you walk into the party, have a snacking strategy in mind. If your heart is set on having two slices of pie, don’t overdo nibbling on appetizers. Indulge on the foods that you don’t get to enjoy all year. Instead of ordinary cheese and crackers, save your calories for your aunt’s holiday bread pudding. Also, don’t overload on toppings. Gravy, salad dressing, and butter all add unwanted calories to foods that may otherwise be good holiday choices.
Keep yourself distracted throughout the meal. Drink lots of water, and if there is carbonated water available, keep that close at hand too, because the carbonation also promotes a feeling of being full. In addition, fiber helps us feel full without tacking on extra calories, so look for high-fiber foods such as whole grains and fruits.
While distracting your tummy, play a little trick on your brain too. Stick to entrée-sized plates to load up on healthy options, such as fruits, vegetables, and snacks. But when you’re ready for appetizers and entrées that are higher in fat, use small plates.
Avoid making that dreadful New Year’s Eve resolution to lose weight, as these tips will help your clothing size stay the same throughout the holidays. What better gift can you give yourself than that?