Throughout the month of December my schedule is peppered with parties, luncheons, shopping trips, and all kinds of other opportunities to make poor food choices. We asked our guest bloggers for some advice to help us maintain our waistline over the holiday season. Learn how Dawn Swidorski from the Defeat Diabetes Foundation suggests we reign ourselves in at our next holiday function.
Strategies to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays
Don’t skip any regularly scheduled meals or snacks prior to a party. If you do you’ll be “extra hungry”. This is a recipe for overindulging. It is okay to plan on having a good time and enjoying the food, but don’t set yourself up for guilt later.
Here are 10 party tricks to help you keep from over-indulging.
10. Keep moving.
Enjoy the company and camaraderie of friends by moving around the room and socializing instead of being near the buffet table. This requires you making a conscious decision to go to the buffet table to eat and helps avoid mindless snacking.
9. Look over your food options before making a selection.
Whether it is a buffet table or passed hors d’ouevres, there are always healthier choices available. To be sure you are making the right choices, you can always ask one of the wait staff what appetizers will be served, this way you won’t miss out on what you really want to eat.
8. Portion control.
You don’t have to bypass foods that you truly enjoy, you just need to eat sensible amounts.
7. Choose your beverages wisely.
Too much alcohol adds excess calories and impacts your glucose levels. Wine or light beer has between 80 – 120 calories and is your best choice if alcohol is a must on your holiday list. Sparkling water with the addition of fruit slices is a festive and low calorie option, not just during the holidays, but anytime.
6. Don’t skip the bacon wrapped shrimp.
If you’ve been waiting all year for the bacon wrapped shrimp, then be sure to have one or two, but not five. Use good sense and exercise the same kind of portion control you would anytime.
5. Use substitutions.
If you really want those mashed potatoes, then bypass the dinner roll so you can fully enjoy your indulgence.
4. Put sauces and dressings on the side.
This allows you to more adequately gauge the real portion size.
3. Start the meal with a large portion of salad.
2. Eat slowly and savor all of the foods you have on your plate.
This is good advice all year long. Americans, in particular, tend to eat their meals too quickly. Since it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach and your brain to connect that you are full, it is easy to over eat. Eating slowly allows your body to tell you it’s full before you overindulge.
1. Wait before you have dessert.
No matter how well you plan, or how carefully you try to deal with all the temptations of the holidays, you are likely to overindulge at least once. The key is to realize it is okay to have a little slip up once in a while and not to beat yourself up over it. Just get back on track.
About the Author: Dawn is a seasoned communications professional with twenty-five years’ experience with private enterprise, non-profits and public corporations. She’s worked with a variety of diverse groups including businesses, community organizations, government agencies, media and the general public to exchange information and develop strategic plans promoting community outreach and linkages. She originally hails from the Midwest but now has her home in San Francisco, CA the home of garlic fries, Anchor Steam Beer, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Summer of Love.