Pecan pie, mashed potatoes with gravy and stuffing…the holidays are upon us as is the battle with extra calories and the indulgences that accompany it. How can we resist these temptations at holiday work parties, at family gatherings and, let’s be honest, even in our own homes?
You need not avoid the invitation to your next holiday soiree, instead, come armed with an arsenal of strategies that help keep your waistline in check. Save your New Years resolutions for something other than your diet.
- Scan the buffet before diving in: By checking out your options, you can make certain to save room for those foods that are most nutritious and lower in calories like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
- Keep your distance: Don’t stand next to the table of food or buffet, put some distance between your self and it. If you aren’t near the food, you will be less likely to be tempted by it. Pop in a mint or a stick of gum to keep from reaching for the holiday cookies.
- Take 10 before taking a second helping: It actually takes up to 20 minutes for your stomach to send the message to your brain that you are full. After savoring every bite of your first helping, take a break, make conversation, drink a glass of sparkling water. You may find that you are satisfied with one helping.
- Avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach: Drinking alcohol increases your appetite and can reduce your ability to control what you eat.
- Reduce the calories: Unsweetened applesauce, mashed bananas and prune puree can make a delightful substitute for fat in many baked goods. Substitute half of the fat with one of these ingredients.
- Use a smaller plate: This allows you to put less on your plate and encourages proper portion sizes.
- Bring a dish you can eat without guilt: Put yourself in a position of power by bringing something to the party that you can enjoy without guilt such as fruit kabobs, fresh veggies and dip, or Thai chicken skewers.
- Budget wisely: Don’t be tempted to eat everything at gatherings and parties. Be choosy and spend calories only on foods you love.
Although food is an integral part of the holidays, be certain to focus on family, friends, laughter and cheer. Get out and expend some of those extra calories by taking the dog for a walk, taking part in a local 5 K fun run, park as far from the building you are entering as you can to add steps to your day. Enjoy the holiday and the hope that the New Year brings!