The holiday season is just around the corner. Part of the joy of the season is spending time with family and friends. But social gatherings often lead to over-indulging in our favorite meals and treats. With a bit of pre-planning for social occasions where food is likely to be in abundance, it is possible to maintain your weight without depriving yourself. Here are some tips:
- Give some thought to how you will make your food choices before you head out the door and decide in advance how you will negotiate your options. If for example your mom is famous for her pumpkin pie and you know you can’t resist, then slow down on the side dishes.
- Stick to one serving and remember you don’t have to clean your plate.
- Beware of the nibbling trap. Passed hors d‘oeuvres or an open buffet can be deceiving; small tastings can quickly add up to hundreds of calories.
- Choose wisely and be mindful of what you are putting in your mouth. We tend not to pay attention to what we are eating when we are socializing and enjoying ourselves.
It’s not only what we eat, but often what we drink during the holidays that can derail our diets. So, remember:
- Seasonal beverages that seem harmless can be a diet deal breaker. Tempting coffee drinks like Starbucks Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Brulee Latte will add a whopping 370 calories and 42 grams of sugar to your daily intake.
- Liquids do not satisfy hunger in the same way as chewing and digesting food. Steer clear of calorie laden drinks and take pleasure in delicious home cooked treats instead.
- Alternate alcoholic or high calorie drinks with a glass of seltzer or bottled water with lemon. This approach will slow you down and fill you up at the same time.
If you arrive at a party ravenous, the likelihood of overeating becomes a reality. Before you head out the door, eat a healthy and satisfying snack.
- Choose a high protein, low calorie option that will help stave off hunger. Try a handful of almonds, a low-fat string cheese or a container of Greek yogurt and a piece of fresh fruit.
- When you sit down to a meal, savor each bite and enjoy all of the flavors.
- Most importantly, focus on spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoy everything that makes the holidays so special.
Wishing you and your family a joyous, healthy and safe holiday season and a very Happy New Year!