How to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays
Many people are surrounded by food throughout the holiday season – leftover Halloween candy, sumptuous Thanksgiving feasts, homemade cookies in the office, tempting party spreads. A popular misconception is that the average person gains six to eight pounds during this time, but studies reveal that the amount is actually much lower – around one pound. Nevertheless, most people never lose this extra weight, and instead it just continues to accumulate year after year.
So, how can you maintain your weight and ensure good nutrition during the holidays? Depriving yourself of all high-calorie holiday treats is simply unrealistic. Instead, before you head to the dinner table or party buffet, you can devise some simple strategies to help ensure that you make healthier choices and eat smaller portions. Here are some ideas you can try:
- Before eating, drink a large glass of water, which is a refreshing, calorie-free way to feel fuller.
- Begin with healthier offerings, like fruits and vegetables (skip creamy dips and dressings). By the time you’re ready to hit the dessert table, you’ll have less room to overindulge in sugary, high-calorie options. And, before you go for that big hunk of chocolate cake or slice of homemade pumpkin pie, ask yourself how important it is to you in relation to your health and well-being. Your answer just might motivate you enough to pass it by.
- Instead of taking several helpings of a single dish, fill your plate with small amounts of a variety of foods. Because you’ll only be taking a “taste” of each, you won’t need to feel guilty about it.
- Eat slowly, and before you go back for seconds or dessert, wait at least 20 minutes. Why 20 minutes? It takes this long for your digestive system to signal to your brain that you are full. After waiting, you might find that you don’t really want anything else to eat after all.
- Limit your intake of alcohol, which is full of empty calories. Instead, you might substitute sparkling water, juice, or another tasty beverage, and raise your glass to the health benefits you’ll enjoy as a result.
- Keep up with your fitness routine during the holidays. For a psychological boost, you might even add an extra five or ten minutes to your workout.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you cave when you see that frothy eggnog or irresistible crème brulee. Remember, tomorrow will be a new day that will provide other opportunities to make healthy choices.
For further information on nutrition and healthy eating during the holidays or anytime, please feel free to contact or visit the South Tampa Immediate Care walk-in clinic.