As much as we try to stay away from too many sugary foods and lay up on Grandma’s cookies over the holidays, sometimes the thing that ends up putting us over the edge is improper portion sizes. With so much food to choose from and the classic saying that it comes once a year and we deserve a treat (while true), it can all add up to us having a little bit too much on our plate. Help prevent that this year and keep your weight goals in check by following these 5 tips:
Serve your own food - we've all been there: Grandma thinks you don't eat enough and puts enough food on your plate for your entire family; Uncle Frank offers to get you a second helping of mashed potatoes and gravy when he gets up and comes back with a small lake surrounding a mountain sitting on your plate. Prevent these problems and control how much is on your plate by serving yourself. Block out all the naysayers who say you need to take more, or who give you a hard time about leaving food on your plate. Only You know your body and it's important to listen to it.
Offer to bring a healthy option - If you know the dinner selection won't be the healthiest you've ever seen, offer to bring something - and make it the healthy option everyone else is missing. This means you can fill up on this and not have to deal with everyone giving you a hard time about not eating much, and maybe it will even spark some others to think about bringing healthier food options next time! Things like raw veggies and hummus, bean and veggie dishes, and even a soup if it fits the menu.
Split your drink mix with half soda water - it's not just the food indulgences that add up to extra calories at Christmas, but the drinks stack up pretty quickly too. Cut your calories in half by subbing half your drink mix with carbonated water. For example if you usually have a vodka cranberry, use half cranberry juice and half sparkling water. The water is calorie free and ends up adding a nice fizziness to your drink too. Also try making custom detox water.
Eat before you go - It sounds counterintuitive to eat before you go out to eat, but doing so actually prevents you from overeating. If we show up at a function hungry, and there is lots Imogene indulgent food, we are more likely to overindulge. Instead, eat a small, healthy meal before you go, like a salad with avocado and lemon juice or some raw veggies with hummus. This way, you show up satisfied and just select a reasonable portion of dinner and dessert.
Choose a small plate - When everyone gets together for a special occasion, sometimes it means the giant fancy dinner plates come out! But bigger plates make us think we should pile them with more food! Instead, try to find a smaller plate so you are less tempted to exceed portion sizes and then fill it up just so the plate is covered, not so the food is heaping. Aim for over half to be covered in veggies, and the last third split between whole grains/carbohydrates and lean protein.