Families often come together during the holidays which means food comes along. There’s nothing quite like sharing stories with one another at the table with delicious food on your plate.
I would like to start out by saying there is nothing wrong with allowing yourself some extra room during the holidays, because after-all, it’s the holidays and we all know your New Years Resolution will be made after finishing that third helping of mashed potatoes.
I simply want to go through just a few ways you can be more conscientious during the holidays about what you are putting in your body.
Often, there is an appetizer sitting on the dining room table for hours. So you “accidentally” walk past the table four times and before you know it you’ve eaten 9 pigs in a blanket, 3 handfuls of pretzels and half of some random cheese stick that you didn’t really like.
Please read the tips below
- Are you actually hungry?
Admit it. A lot of us eat because we are bored or stressed or other people are eating around us, but are you actually hungry? Think before you eat and just make sure you are eating for the “right” reason.
- Slow it down.
Did you know that slowing down while you eat actually makes you eat less? This is due to the fact that it takes a while for the stomach to recognize it’s full and to send the hormones to your brain telling you that you are full. This leads to over-indulgence simply because you do not know you are full (Andrade). So maybe before you get up for a second plate (or third), take a second to relax, slow down and let your food digest.
Which foods should you plate first? The more nutritious ones. Don’t serve yourself two helpings of sweet potatoes covered with brown sugar and marshmallows first because by the time you’re full, you’ve only eaten sugar. Fill up first on proteins and vegetables. Try to limit the desserts and definitely save those for last.
- Plate it
Put all the food you plan to eat on your plate. This is what I was talking about earlier walking past the appetizers on the table and not recognizing until it’s too late just how much food you have consumed.
Most common holiday recipes have a healthier version somewhere online. Try looking up a recipe to a classic and see how you can substitute ingredients to be more nutritious.
- Plan ahead
In the weeks coming, there’s no doubt the desire to splurge will be there. Allow yourself to do so in moderation, but be extra cautious beforehand. Thanksgiving is Thursday, so I encourage you to try very hard Monday-Wednesday to eat even healthier.
Happy holidays from Carolina Bay!
Andrade, Ana M. et al. “Eating Slowly Led to Decreases in Energy Intake within Meals in Healthy Women.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association , Volume 108 , Issue 7 , 1186 – 1191