‘Tis the season of cookies, cheese platters and cocktails! While most of us love to indulge during the holiday season, nobody looks forward struggling into their regular pant size after the festivities have passed.
Rest assured! There’s no need to neglect yourself of holiday treats – you can still enjoy all of the wonderful holiday events that the season has to offer. Here are some simple tips to ensure you enter the New Year guilt free.
1. Don’t Show Up Starving
Yes, we are all guilty of this grave mistake. You’ve been fantasizing about all of the glorious food and beverage options that will be available to you at a party all day long, and eating very little because of it. By the time you show up the night of the party, you are absolutely famished and make a beeline straight for the cookie platter a-la-Santa!
To avoid stuffing yourself silly at a party make sure you eat regular meals the day of, and eat a small handful of healthy snacks (such as nuts, an apple or banana, or maybe a piece of toast with peanut butter) before you head out the door.
2. Chew Slowly at Dinner
We often rush through our dinners. Lets face it; when your dinner is delish, you often want to gobble the whole thing down lickity-split. This is a huge mistake when it comes to practicing healthy habits. Chewing thoroughly and swallowing before shoving the next bite down your throat helps you shed the pounds. Practice some behavior modification – after taking a forkful, place your fork down, chew, swallow and repeat until satisfied — NOT stuffed. This allows your body the time it needs to notify you of satisfaction.
3. Sip On This
Most of the time our minds think we’re hungry when really we’re dehydrated. Feel like snacking because you’re “hungry?” Put down the eggnog and try taking a few swigs of water and then wait it out for about 10 minutes, then see how you feel. Drinking water also helps in the process of digestion while naturally cleansing the body. Need some flavor? Add halved cranberries to help aid in weight loss and boost your glass with a little holiday cheer.
4. Use Small & Creative Utensils
Be sneaky; use smaller utensils such as salad forks and soup spoons when setting for a big meal. It’s an easy little trick to prevent from overeating. And have fun! Anything can be eaten with chopsticks, and this nifty utensil can help slow down your eating speed, especially if you are new to it! Ask Santa for a pair of custom chopsticks this year, and keep them with the rest of your utensils so you can incorporate them into your daily eating habits.
5. Partake in Petite Plates
Need help fighting the urge to overfill your plate? If you like to see it covered in food, simply downsize with a smaller plate. Sometimes it’s all a mind game! A full and visually pleasing small plate can make you believe that you are eating the same portion of ham and mashed potatoes that you would eat on a big plate, saving you the extra calories.
6. Take it To-Go
Exhausted after holiday shopping and looking to grab dinner at the mall? Watch out! Many restaurants have a habit of going to the extreme with portions. For example, The Cheesecake Factory is an excellent place to doom yourself to holiday weight gain. Think their salad is a healthy option? Try again! Those salads alone should be broken into 4 servings, but unfortunately people eat them all in one sitting and then wonder why they only fit into stretchy pants.
So ask your waitress for a to-go box as soon as you order, and split your dish before you begin eating. If you need even more self constraint, kindly ask your waiter or waitress to only bring out half of your dish and box the other half for you. Leftovers are a great way to savor that amazing meal and save money!
Enjoy the holidays this year, without the belly bulge fear.