I love eating! It’s easily my favorite hobby. And during this time of year, yummy food is abundant. Office parties, family dinners, banquets, and buffets. How can you possibly be expected to avoid overeating during all of your celebrations?
It always goes like this for me: I see a table full of mouthwatering comfort food and desserts. I greedily fill my plate up without a second thought. Before I know it, I’ve polished off everything on my plate and usually go back for more.
And I tell myself it’s okay to indulge because it’s a special occasion (at every party I go to).
It always tastes amazing as I’m eating, but then I feel stuffed and horrible once the food is gone. Not to mention, I spend the rest of Winter trying to hide my food baby under baggy sweaters wishing I would’ve had some self-control in the first place.
Well, this year I told myself that things would be different.
I would never in one million years suggest going on a diet. Especially not during the holidays when all of the most delicious foods are at your fingertips. But by manipulating your mindset and having a plan, you can eat all of the things you want without the guilt or consequences.
This is what I’ll be doing between Thanksgiving and New Years to enjoy food with family and friends without worrying about going overboard.
Here are my “tricks” to avoid overeating during the holidays:
1. Make a healthy dish
Whether the party is at your place or you’re bringing a dish to a potluck, make something healthy. This way you know that you know there will be at least one nutritious item there. A green salad with cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and shredded carrots is easy and fresh. You can serve it with a couple of dressing options on the side.
My one pan meal recipe is another great way to eat your veggies!
2. Wear fitted clothes
I can say from experience that I am 100% more likely to overeat if I have on loose clothing because I can hide how much I’ve eaten. By wearing something that clings tightly to your body, you’ll be more aware of whether or not your stomach is getting full.
3. Don’t arrive starving
Make sure you eat normally during the day leading up to your event. So if you’re having Christmas dinner with your family, don’t fast all day to “save room” in your belly. Keep your hunger under control so you feel less compelled to overeat once you arrive at dinner.
4. Drink water
A lot of people mistake hunger for thirst. Keep a bottle of water in your hand so you can be sure that you’re not eating when you’re actually thirsty. Also, be selective about your beverage choices. Holiday cocktails, juices, and eggnog pack unnecessary calories. Skip those altogether if you can.
5. Don’t hang out in the kitchen
Or near the food table. I’m a serial grazer and often find myself full from snacking before it’s even time for the main course. To avoid lingering near the food, I look for a deep, comfy couch that doesn’t have a view of the buffet.
If you’re not too busy chasing your kids around, use this time to reconnect with friends and family or meet new people. Play some fun games and keep your mouth busy by talking and growing your relationships.
7. Segment your plate
When it’s time to eat, fill most of your plate with the healthiest options (like that beautiful salad you made) and eat that first. When you get to the indulgent items, only serve yourself a fraction of what you would usually have. I don’t believe in deprivation, but I’ve found that a couple hearty bites of mac and cheese can be just as satisfying as half a plate.
8. Share a dessert plate
This is definitely where I have the biggest problem. If I see more than one dessert option, obviously I have to sample everything. To make sure I don’t single-handedly devour every dessert, I’ll put a small serving of the things I want on a plate and share it with one or two people. By this point, I’m probably not even hungry anyway. I can satisfy my craving for sweet potato pie AND peach cobbler by having a nibble of both.
9. Have an accountability partner
Find someone you trust who has a similar goal. This will be the person you go to and say “Yay, I only had one scoop of mashed potatoes” or “Oops, I ate an entire tray of cookies”. Managing your intake is tough to do alone. Rely on an accountability partner to remind you to stay on track.
10. Listen to your body
If it were that easy to just stop when I was full, I wouldn’t have created this whole list! Try to be in tune with yourself and your consumption and do your best to stop before you feel stuffed.
You can do it!
It’s difficult to avoid yummy temptations on a daily basis, but this struggle becomes even more difficult during this time of year. Acknowledging the problem is a great first step. Pick a few of these tips and see what a difference it makes on your holiday eating habits!
Please consult your physician if you have legitimate concerns about your health or weight. There is no scientific basis for my list. It is simply created from personal experience and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice.
Do you use any tricks to monitor your holiday intake? Leave a comment and tell me all about it!