Here’s My Top 10 Tips to Make Sure You Don’t Overinduldge at the Holiday Table
Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s that my good eating habits fly out the window, and I seemingly gain that last 10 pounds that I worked for the last two months to take off. While my diet plan has been a little off kilter these last few weeks, here’s my top 10 tips to make sure you don’t blow your diet during the dreaded holiday feast.
1. Water, Drink Lots of Water. –Not only is water one of the most essential elements to any dieter, it not only makes you feel full and helps you metabolize your food much more quickly.
2. Eat a Little Something Before You Go. –I always try to eat a little something before heading to the big event. If I eat a small salad or a portion of fruit before I go, I’m less likely to be starving when I get there and less likely to snack on all the goodies (ie chips and dip, nuts, etc. ) that are lurking around just waiting to be eaten before dinner.
3. Keep the Food in the Kitchen. Leaving the food someplace other than the table makes it much less likely to be nibbled on, or take that extra helping (or two, or three).
4. Choose Healthier Options. There really ARE healthy options that are sitting right in front of you at your family feast. Choose vegetables (not drenched in butter!), load up on salad with reduced calorie dressing or try your baked potato with fat-free sour cream. You’re not only reducing your calorie intake, but you’re filling yourself up with good food and are less likely to pg out on the bad stuff (think calorie laden stuffing with gravy!)
5. Have a Game Plan. I ALWAYS have a game plan before going to any holiday feast. It’s like a battle, right? I think about what’s going to be there, what I’m going to eat and exactly how much. If I know ahead of time that I’m going to eat 4 ounces of turkey, skip the gravy and go for the green beans, I’m pretty likely to do so. It’s when I don’t have a pre-meal plan that I go overboard—and feel awful afterward. AND remember, just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it.
6. Limit Your Alcohol Intake. This is a tough one, especially when your dad keeps filling up your glass after two sips! I try to stick to one or two glasses of wine (6 oz!) max. The more you drink, the more hungry you get—and the more likely you are to let your guard down and overeat.
7. Eat Slowly. Holidays are for families, so don’t spend the whole time at the dinner table stuffing your face. Take time to enjoy some conversation, take a breath here and there, and relax. Not only will your mind catch up with your stomach, but you’re way less likely to stuff yourself silly.
8. Watch Your Portions .
Eat one cup of potatoes, not four,—nuff said.
9. Leave the Leftovers. Leaving the leftovers (or sending them home with someone else) is pretty much genius. If it’s not in your refrigerator, you’re not going to eat it, right?
10. FINALLY…Don’t Deny Yourself. Me, I’m a dessert person. I can’t deny myself a really good piece of holiday pie. But knowing this ahead of time (see tip #5), I allow myself ONE small piece—it satisfies my sugar craving and prevents me from binging on 10 iced chocolate chip cookies that are lurking in the living room. If you’re a (potato, stuffing, bread) person—go for it, in moderation of course!
There you have it—hopefully these tips can help you successfully get through the holiday season without gaining a pound!