Strategies for eating well at the holidays

We all know that weight loss is all about calories in vs. calories out ‑ we need to expend more calories, generally through activity, than we take in through the foods and beverages we ingest. This is very simple in principle but putting it into practice every day seems to be the tricky part!  Think about this….when you eat is it because you are truly hungry or are you eating because of some other reason…situations, emotions or habits?

  • During the holidays we plan a lot of holiday get-togethers around meals and food. We may feel obligated to eat something or just snack and graze out of habit. How do you overcome these holiday festivity pitfalls? Bring something healthy and low in calories to the party, maybe fresh veggies, fresh fruit or low fat-snacks such as pretzels. Or, eat before you go so that you are less tempted to snack. Chose a bottle of water as your beverage, and any time you feel like snacking take a drink of water.
  • Holidays can be an emotional time for many.  Rather than turning to your traditional “comfort foods” why not try turning to your favorite pair of sneakers…you know the ones that are perfectly broken in and feel great! If you feel like you need to snack and you logically know you shouldn’t be hungry, take a 15-20 minute walk. This will get you aware from the kitchen and the snacks as well as give you an opportunity to clear your head.
  • How often do you take a second helping of something just because it is there, you always have had seconds in the past, or you don’t want to waste it? Try dishing up your meal and putting everything away so that you aren’t tempted to go for seconds. If you still think you are hungry, go brush your teeth and wait 15 minutes before you actually go back for seconds. This sounds crazy, but here is why it can help…Brushing your teeth will cleanse your pallet which is often the reason we continue to eat after we are full. Waiting 15 minutes will also allow for your food to digest and your stomach to catch up with your eyes, meaning you will be better able to assess if you are really hungry or just looking for something to graze on.

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