With the holidays fast approaching, you’re probably concerned about overeating and gaining weight. It’s a hard time of year to navigate and some people can gain as much as 5-8 pounds over the holidays! Don’t let that worry you, with some intention and focus you can stop holiday weight gain. I hope you’ll find these tips to be helpful!
Eat Something Before You Go
A common trick that many people use when they don’t want to overeat during a special occasion or event is to eat beforehand. This might seem silly since you are headed out to a potluck or holiday meal but the idea isn’t to eat a whole meal at home and then again when you get there.
What you’re trying to do is eat a small meal or snack that is high protein and as healthy as possible, so that not only are you full, but you know you had something good for you. Then when you arrive for that holiday gathering, you’ll only eat a small amount because you are slightly full, your cravings won’t be as bad, and you’ll be less likely to indulge.
Count Plates, Not Calories
Instead of trying to count the calories, grams of fat, or carbohydrates of each food item you choose, just count the number of plates. Give yourself just one plate to enjoy Christmas dinner on, including the dessert. That means only a certain amount of the plate should be filled up with food, leaving an empty portion for the dessert that will come later. The rest of the plate is filled up with anything you want, but you can’t use a separate plate, bowl, or go in for seconds.
Go for the Protein and Veggies First
Whether you’re enjoying appetizers at a buffet table or choosing food at a holiday dinner, try to fill up your plate with the healthier, high protein food options first. Get a portion size of beef, ham or turkey, then make up the rest of the plate with the healthier veggies. If there’s any more room on your plate, you can then add the less healthy options like mashed potatoes or stuffing (if you choose to eat them) but these should only be a very small portion of what you will be eating.
When you are trying not to overeat, denying yourself something rarely works. The exception here of course if you’re diabetic or are struggling with chronic illness or pain. It’s really important to follow a healthy food protocol if you are. Also if you are struggling with an eating disorder and know that one little thing will set you off, it’s better to stay away from the first bite than trying to stop it once you’ve started.
So if you honestly feel you have the discipline to do so, just try a bit of everything, don’t overload your plate and don’t go back for seconds. And if you can, take a short walk after a big meal. Keep up your exercise program as well and you won’t have the regret of post holiday weight gain.