First off, there’s something important you need to know about holiday eating.
YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO OVEREAT!
I know, it seems crazy to think that a Dietitian is telling you to eat too much.
Here’s the truth:
- Our bodies are made to go through feast as well as famine.
- We should feast (“eat too much”) sometimes.
- We should famine (“eat too little”) sometimes, depending on what’s going on.
That said… You probably shouldn’t feast everyday between Thanksgiving and New Years! That’s what often happens. Think about the fact that you enjoy a wonderful Christmas dinner. And then the next day, you do it all again with leftovers. And then you have parties at work and with your social life. And then people send you home with extra sweets.
That’s when it gets tough. Let’s be honest – when’s the last time you felt like you went through a famine? We live in an environment where food is ever present. What’s a reasonable person to do?
Here are a few tips that my sister-in-law put together. She’s in school to become a Registered Dietitian (family business??!). They’re great tips – try them out!
Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies
During the winter holidays we attend parties, family dinners and end-of-year company gatherings that result in overeating and weight gain. Instead of trying to lose that weight come January, let’s prevent excess weight gain in the first place! Here are my top five strategies to prevent overeating and weight gain druing the holidays:
- Eat the best-for-you offerings first!
At dinner or a party, fill your plate or bowl with foods with high water content like non-starchy vegetables, non-fat milk or broth based soups. This can help you feel full and avoid overeating the dense and fatty foods.
- Stand more than an arm’s length away from munchies.
Don’t stand near the table of food so that you’re not tempted to eat while you’re catching up with friends.
- Carefully choose the one special dessert you will have.
Decide before you go to the party which dessert you might indulge in. This will give you a strategy to help you resist the temptation to overeat.
- Use smaller plates.
Use a salad or dessert plate. Studies have shown that you serve yourself more and eat more when using a large plate or bowl. Also using a smaller serving spoon helps control portions as well.
- Drink water. Water has zero calories and can help keep you satiated and hydrated throughout the winter months. However, if you want a special beverage try a club soda or seltzer water with lemon.
If you would like a printable version of these tips, here’s a pdf version. It includes some great recipes too!
Be reasonable and enjoy your Christmas Feast!