What would the holidays be without savory dishes, delicious desserts, and colorful cocktails? Besides getting to spend time with friends and family, most people look forward to the yummy food at holiday gatherings. But with all of the joy that celebrating brings, there is sometimes a downside to these festive occasions: the dreaded weight gain which often follows.
So what is one to do? Do we miss out on parties because we fear overeating? Do we starve ourselves before attending gatherings? Do we exercise like crazy in an effort to ward off the pounds? The answer to all of these questions is NO! Here are some simple tips that you can implement to help maintain and not gain unwanted weight during the holidays.
1. Don’s Skip Meals: In preparation for a big holiday party or feast, do not skip meals throughout the day as this may result in overeating. It is especially important to have breakfast, as research shows that those who eat this important morning meal tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day
2. Practice The Three Bite Rule: Eat the dessert! But one way to ensure you don’t overdo it is to practice the 3-bite rule. Find a dessert that looks delicious. Really eye up the table and find the one that screams your name. Then take 3 bites and share the rest with a friend or loved one. This allows you to enjoy it and savor those bites without consuming half the cake or platter of cookies. Try to stick to one dessert or two desserts max. If you limit the number of selections and then only eat a small amount, you won’t feel guilty or feel overly full either.
3. Keep Moving: Finally, after dinner, get some physical activity. This is a great time to go for a walk and catch up with family members, or play catch or a game of basketball with the kids.
4. Snack Before The Party: Don’t starve yourself all day long. Consuming food prior to your party will help you avoid racing right towards the chips, pretzels, and cookies. But having a snack that contains protein and/or good fats will help ward off that intense hunger. Try eating a handful of nuts and an apple or carrots and hummus prior to leaving home.
5. Eat From A Small Plate: Whether at home or at a party, there are usually different sized plates from which to choose. Normally, the smaller plates are for just appetizers or just dessert. Try to fit all of the food you’ll be eating for the night onto that one smaller plate. This doesn’t mean piling it sky-high! The food has to fit without it becoming a balancing act. This forces you to pick the most delicious-looking foods or those you have to try, and stay away from the filler foods like bread, extra crackers, or just one more cookie.
Utilizing a few of the tips will help you avoid holiday weight gain while still enjoying time with friends, family, and the holiday feast! Happy Holidays!