- Holidays are mostly spent overindulging starting at Thanksgiving followed by Christmas and then the New Year.
- But, don’t worry, if you want to eat healthfully over the holidays, there are several ways you can still enjoy the feast without overeating.
- “Gaining weight during the holidays doesn’t have to be the case with a little mindfulness and planning.”
According to California-based clinical psychologist Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D., “Many people assume it’s unavoidable to gain weight over the holidays.”
She said that gaining weight during the holiday season can be avoided with a little mindfulness and planning.
Here are a few tips on how to eat over the holidays, especially if your intention is to eat healthfully not just during the season but all year long.
Eat before you attending an event
“Never go to a party hungry,” Bennett told Healthline. She recommends eating a small meal that includes protein before leaving home.
It’s because protein helps to balance blood sugar, preventing you to overindulge on desserts.
Staying hydrated can avoid overeating because people often mistake hunger for thirst. Bennett recommends drinking a full glass of water with that small meal.
Pay attention to what you eat
“If you decide to eat something, do it slowly and deliberately, tasting and chewing every bite,” Bennett advised. “A sign that you’re eating ‘unconsciously’ is when you hardly remember eating the item.”
If you eat mindfully, you’ll be able to savor the delicious tastes of the food and be conscious of how much you’ve already eaten.
Eat, then take a break
According to dietitian Avital Schwartz, RD, of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, “It takes about 20 minutes for our brain to tell our stomach it’s full, so taking a few minutes between servings can help prevent overeating.”
Eat what you want, but in small doses
“Take your time to eat a little of each chosen food and savor it, rather than gulping and missing most of the pleasure,” Schwartz said. “A smaller amount can be much more enjoyable than a large one, and it leaves room for tasting more goodies without the stomachache.”
“If you do overindulge, forget about it and move on,” Stephanie McKercher, a registered dietitian and food blogger at Grateful Grazer.
“Instead of calling yourself a failure, try to reframe your thoughts to consider what you learned and how you can set yourself up for healthier choices in the future,” McKercher added. “Feeling guilty over food is never the answer.”
Source: Health Line