Believe it or not the holiday season is nearly here.This season the only thing that should be “stuffed” is the turkey! The amount of weight gained during the holidays varies from person to person, what is consistent is that the extra pounds gained during the holiday season are rarely ever lost.
We are consistently encouraged not to overindulge during this season of wanton disregard for moderation in the consumption of whatever it is in the unguarded candy bowl; appetizers neatly displayed on various serving plates, chunks of Aged Cheddar, Comte, Goat Gouda, Manchego, Mimolette, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Gorgonzola Dolce, spread thoughtfully across the cheese board; the meat platter piled high with turkey, prime rib and ham; Nutella Cherry Hazelnut Fudge, Cafe Latte’s Turtle Cake, Eggnog Cheesecake Bars, Peppermint Stick Brownies and other holiday favorites strewn over too many dessert trays. With all this temptation what are we to do?
Dieting is not recommended during this time of year, the season is stressful enough with adding the pressure of trying to lose weight. Instead, experts agree that the best strategy for the holiday season is for people to simply strive to maintain their weight.
To avoid over eating traps, try a few of these “do” and “don’t” tips at your next food gathering.
Don’t go to an event on an empty stomach. This is probably one of the most important tips for the holidays or any other event. Going into a party or function when you’re starving is setting yourself up for disaster. Your eyes will become bigger than your stomach and you will want to eat everything in sight. Also, when hungry, we tend to crave things like sugar and refined carbohydrates, which are public enemy number 1 in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t socialize by the food. It’s the easiest way to indulge. Have an accountability partner. If you’re notorious for camping out at the food fort, ask a friend or family member to simply invite you to come join their conversation when they see you lingering a little too long at the dessert table.
Don’t deprive yourself. It is a special time with special foods and family around to enjoy them, but not to the point of being sick.
Don’t waste precious calories on blasé fare. At parties try the host’s signature dish or a decadent hors d’oeuvre. Always pick up the special food that have lots of love poured into it, take just a small amount, and feel the taste of each bite. If you discover something that is not as wonderful as you thought, discreetly ditch it.
Don’t feel guilty. New research found that people who feel guilty after eating large amounts of snack foods tend to gain more weight than those who don’t feel the guilt.
Don’t drink your calories, instead eat them. Alcohol is a double problem during the holidays. It tends to decrease your resistance when it comes to eating, and the calories in drinks add up. Do you want to be a slender drinker? Then just drink out of a slender glass. One research shows that people tend to drink more from fat, short glasses. So try this trick for optical illusion: Use a white wine glass instead of a goblet, or a highball rather than a tumbler.
Do plan for people who are food-pushers. If you know that there are certain people who worry that you don’t have enough food or push what they have made on you, think of a polite way ahead of time. It doesn’t have to be some big excuse; it can just be a simple phrase to help get you out of it.
Do keep in mind that your food takes 6 seconds to get to your stomach but 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it’s full. Check yourself and see if you’re actually still hungry in 20 minutes.
Do eat slowly. Eating too quickly overrides these signals causing you to eat more than your body would naturally prefer.
Do use a smaller plate. In a bit of an optical illusion, the same amount of food looks larger on a smaller plate than it does on a larger plate.