During the holidays, most of us find ourselves in a mountain of leftover turkey, sweets and other goodies. How can we navigate all this food without overeating?
When delicious food is available all the time and tempting you, how do you keep to your regular balanced diet? Check out these helpful tips that can help change your perspective of what you put into your mouth this holiday season.
1) Portion Control
Extreme fasting isn’t the only answer after a bout of more indulgent eating that most of us experience at family gatherings. Actually, that practice can be very harmful for your body since aggressive fasting and diets can deprive your body of the nutrients it needs. To avoid this, you can still enjoy everything you like by serving yourself smaller portions. Using cutlery and smaller plates also help you eat less.
2) Veggies First; Then the Rest
Vegetables are rich in fibre, nutrients and water which can help you feel full. By eating these first, you will not only be allowing for the nutrients to be absorbed faster and more efficiently but you will be helping your digestive system and mind to visualize satiety.
3) Divide Your Plate
Think of the healthy eating plate when serving yourself. It is recommended that vegetables fill half your plate, while protein (usually your roast or turkey), and whole grains should each occupy a quarter of your plate. Balancing your plate in this way will help you diversify the amount of nutrients you’ll be consuming, you will be more satisfied and at the same time, you will try a greater variety of options.
Quick Tip: If you can’t decide between all the options, you can mix and try different foods that contain the same food group by making sure that they add up to one portion. That way you will be trying more things without overeating.
4) Cook it Yourself
When you cook your own meals, you know what ingredients you are putting in and you automatically become more conscientious of what you’re eating. By cooking whenever possible, you also make a more mindful connection with your food and you start to notice the flavours and details of your food, which allows your mind and stomach to feel satisfied when they have reached their peak.
5) Don’t Forget the H2O
It’s quite common to confuse thirst for hunger, especially if you load up on salty foods. If it’s not your usual time to eat, ask yourself when you last had a glass of water. A very simple method to check this is to have a glass of water, and wait about twenty minutes. If you’re still hungry, then have a snack!
6) Don’t Starve Yourself!
Have a snack or a light meal before hitting your next dinner party. By having vegetable soup, some yogurt with fruit or even just a banana you could be saving yourself from wanting to eat everything in sight later on.
7) Eat Mindfully
Mindfulness, or the act of being and enjoying the present moment, can be put into action in anything you practice, including while we eat. Feel your food, smell it, observe it, really taste it and try to visualize all its ingredients and where they come from.
See Also: A Mindful Mouthful
8) It’s Not All About the Food
Don’t forget that the main purpose of this time of year is not about non-stop eating. The food can sometimes just be an excuse. The holidays bring people and families together to share not just food, but stories, time and love with one another.
At the end of the day, treat your body as a temple. You only have one, so treat it the best you can by feeding it properly and avoiding the stresses of under-nourishment over-consumption. At your next gathering, try paying attention to what you put in your mouth and, once you do, enjoy it with all your senses. Avoid starving yourself and instead have light snacks before dinners and parties. Don’t forget about water and greens and go for smaller portions but giving greater variety to your plate. Happy Holidays!
If you’re familiar with my past articles on health and nutrition, you’ll notice that I find balance very important people’s diets. That balance includes enjoying yourself, and it’s important to be able to enjoy family meals without feeling guilty.