The holiday season should be one of the happiest times of the year as we gather together with friends and family to count blessings and celebrate togetherness. Unfortunately, all those gatherings come with a dearth of delicious desserts, tasty treats, and fabulous foods. It’s no wonder so many of us gain more than just gifts. It may feel like you have to stick close to home and avoid the buffet tables, cocktails, and cookies but you don’t have to take such extreme action to make it to New Year’s without adding any pounds. Here are 6 tips for getting through the holiday get-togethers without gaining weight.
1. Browsing is Your Friend
Holiday events are bound to have a buffet and the best way to add a ton of calories to your plate is to grab a plate and dig right in. Instead, take a few minutes to browse the buffet before you even pick up a plate. Pick the things that you want the most and leave the rest alone.
2. Eat Before You Go
One of the best ways to keep yourself from over-indulging is to have a small healthy meal or snack before you leave home. If you approach the buffet table without a grumbling stomach, you are more likely to be picky about what goes on your plate.
3. Pace Yourself
Pacing is also important. You can easily overeat if you are focused solely on getting the most food into your mouth in the shortest amount of time. Instead of eating every plate as if it was your last meal, shift the focus of the event from food to interacting. Then, talk twice as much as you eat and you will be surprised how satisfied you are with a much smaller amount of food.
4. Portion Control is Paramount
Another way that you can easily eat much more than you need is portion size. If there are two sizes of plate available, always take the smaller one. Don’t load up your plate right away, especially if it is a buffet. Eat a small serving of the things that look the most interesting, talk some more, and then if you are still hungry, take more food.
5. Don’t Deprive Yourself
Sometimes our best intentions can be our worst enemy and this is true when it comes to banning certain things from our diet, especially if it is something we crave. Denying yourself that snickerdoodle cookie might seem like the best choice for winning this war but for many of us, the opposite is true. Sometimes, deprivation of a craving leads to eating everything except that one cookie which is much worse than just giving in and eating the cookie.
6. Don’t Forget About Drinking
Unfortunately, food is not the only thing that makes us gain weight during the holiday season which is why we need to keep track of everything that goes in our mouths. This includes eggnog and hot chocolate as well as alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, and cocktails. All of these beverages come with calories and if you aren’t paying attention to them, they can wind up on your thighs as quickly as cake and cookies.