Practices for Avoiding Holiday Eating Pitfalls
- Cook for Health
Comb the web for lower calories versions of family classics. Try vegetable broths for flavor and spices for pizzazz. Cook with presence. Do it with gratitude.
- Cook for variety:
Variety doesn’t mean you have to be a statistic of the “buffet effect.” It also doesn’t mean it has to all be eaten in one day. Make a majority of your holiday meal, plant-based. They satisfy, store well and prepared mindfully, won’t put you in that 10% that put on the unwanted extras during this time of year.
- Be thankful:
Take the time to appreciate the bounty. Bless your food. Eat slowly. Pace yourself. Put the fork down at intervals. Engage in lively conversation. Breathe.
- Smell your way to satisfaction:
Smell has been known to illicit feelings of fullness. Bask in all the wonderful scents and trigger the sensations that communicate to your brain that satisfaction is only bites away.
- Serve for Satisfaction:
When preparing the buffet or dinner table, use smaller serving bowls or plates. Plan ahead, get a head count, estimate, and only serve enough for each person. Leave leftovers in the pot or pack it up in advance for the next day. You and your body will appreciate the break.
- Don’t see, don’t eat:
Get your Tupperware ready. Clear the table/buffet of uneaten foods; remove self or food from same space. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Re-evaluate leftovers:
Wait on seconds. Give your body time to digest what you have already eaten. Allow yourself some downtime. If you still feel the need, then do it, but with moderation.
- Make choices:
Leaving room for dessert is the first step. The second is deciding if it’s going to be the cookie or the pie, the cake or the pudding. Share your dessert. There’s always tomorrow.
- Don’t forsake H2O for alcohol
Drink enough water before you eat and even after your meal. Water is a great way to fill the gap, allowing us to eat less and drink less alcohol.
- Don’t skip. Skimp.
You don’t have to skip meals to fully enjoy your holiday meal as this may encourage overeating. Instead go high fiber or light breakfast or lunch.
- Don’t clear your plate:
Use your innate wisdom and best judgment when it comes to eating your plate clean. Think sustainably; serve small portions to avoid food waste.
By engaging in some of kind of spiritual activity (i.e.: meditation, yoga, quiet time. etc.…), food will serve its purpose and not serve as a scapegoat for triggers, such as stress.
- Go guilt-free:
Be real, be honest, think and plan ahead. Being proactive will help with reactive, mindless eating behavior. Going guilt-free doesn’t equate to deprivation. With consciousness and moderation and you can take control over your holiday meal.
- Keep exercise in perspective:
Maintain exercise activities or do something physical. Keep the balance. Match put in, with out put. Energy begets energy. (No, cooking doesn’t count this time).
Enjoy your food, enjoy your company, enjoy your holiday!