It’s no secret that the holidays sneak upon us, and so does the weight gain. We can’t escape the yummy appetizers at the holiday parties, the family parties with tons of pasta and bread, Especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas back to back. Then, two months later, your scale is saying your weight is up – there’s a way to mitigate that with a personalized plan to avoid eating too much tempting food around the holiday season.
Don’t go to parties on an empty stomach
One of the biggest downfalls of the holidays is the parties and all the unhealthy food that goes with them. The #1 way to completely succumb to it all is by showing up at a party on an empty stomach. Eat a snack beforehand, so you don’t feel like you need to dig right into all the party food and inevitably overeat. Research shows that eating low calorie soup before a meal can help cut back on how much food and calories you eat, in studies participants reduced their total calorie intake by 20 percent.
Listen to body/hunger cues
We sometimes tend to not listen to what our bodies are telling us, and this is in relation to when we’re actually hungry, too. When at a holiday event, don’t just eat for the sake of eating. Be sure that you’re actually listening to hunger cues and eating when you’re truly, physically hungry. This leads to the next point…
Use a smaller plate
Using a smaller plate when eating food at a holiday function to allow for smaller portions. This is so you don’t accidentally overeat… because let’s face it, we could all get carried away with the yummy food! Researchers found that if you put a small piece of food on a large plate, your brain will tell you that you are eating a small portion, this will increase the likelihood that you will put more food on the plate. However, if you put that same portion of food on a small plate, your brain will tell you that you are eating a large portion and you’ll stop adding food. This doesn’t just go for holiday party events, you can use this trick at all times of the year, as it can really help dodge overeating. An interesting side note, the color of your plate makes a difference too. Research shows that people eat less if there is a higher contrast in colors between the plate and the food. For example, if you eat a light-colored food like pasta off of a dark blue plate, you will probably eat less than if you eat the pasta off of a white plate. This is probably because the portion looks larger on a darker plate because it stands out more than it does on a lighter plate, where it just blends in.
Also, another great future of holiday plates is they may come with sections, like picnic plates. If I haven’t said it, I know you have heard it from others, you should fill half your plate with fruits and veggies and keep portions of starches and proteins to a fourth of the plate for each. It’s a lot easier to follow this rule using a sectioned plate since you can clearly see where each food group should fit. So seek out the fruit and vegetable platters for the largest section and keep the treats to the smaller sections.
Share your foods with a friend
There are also plenty of sweets available at parties like cupcakes, brownies, cake, and more. If someone doesn’t take “no” for an answer or you accidentally end up with a big piece, offer some to a friend who will share it with you. Two is always better than one!
There ARE ways to avoid temptation around the holidays. It’s not easy, but it’s possible, and you can set yourself up for success. You can still treat yourself in moderation!
Eat for the season
One more healthy take away as we transition seasons, through the later weeks of Fall, you probably notice that your skin is a little dryer, you’re a bit more tired than usual, and your body is achy from the dropping temperatures. To assist your body you want to consume foods that are soothing to the epidermis, hair, and nails.
You can supplement your diet with a surplus of…
Regularly include sour, high in potassium fruits in your diet such as apples, grapefruit, oranges, lemon, and lime to keep the immune system abundant with antioxidants.
Start drinking ginger teas along with cumin and coriander to assist with making digestion a bit easier. Ginger allows blood vessels to dilate and deliver nutrients throughout the body more quickly and easily.
Here is a great holiday recipe you can use this season:
Pumpkin Seed Snack Mix
2 cups raw organic pumpkin seeds
1 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup dark chocolate chips (sugar free is best)
1 cup slivered almonds
¾ cup organic raw sunflower seeds
¾ cup organic dried cherries (no sugar added)
Combine the snack mix ingredients in a large bowl.
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