As the weather turns colder, and the holidays approach, parties with family and friends quickly fill the calendar. We all know that holiday parties (and Thanksgiving) are synonymous with food, and indulging is hard to resist.
Even though food becomes the center of attention this time of year, there are ways to enjoy the holidays (and of course the food) without overdoing it by following these tips.
- Eat healthy when you can: Don’t waste calories on unhealthy foods a few hours before the party. Instead, choose low-calorie, high protein options and save up your extra calories for the party where you know your foods won’t be as nutrient-dense.
- Drink water before you eat: Drinking will help you fill your stomach with zero calorie water instead of too much food, and this will naturally prevent you from overeating.
- Eat on dinnerware that helps you lose: It’s thought that foods with lower color contrast, such as pasta with alfredo sauce, make you eat more than high contrasting foods, like red peppers and a whole wheat roll. Therefore, if you want to eat less food, choose a plate that highly contrasts the food on it.
- Top off with carbs: Instead of starting your plate with stuffing or mashed potatoes, reach for the protein (turkey), veggies and fruits first, then make a small amount of room for those delicious carbs, last.
- Don’t skip meals: Your body needs to eat at least 3 times per day, ideally more by way of small snacks in between 3 larger meals. If you skip meals throughout the day, the body goes into starvation mode and starts eating up muscle and fat to feed itself. Additionally, naturally, the body’s processes slow down, meaning your metabolism doesn’t move as fast and therefore stores more fat when you do eat.
- Eat slower: It takes the body 15 minutes to realize you’re full, so give your stomach time to process the information, the food, and then signal your brain that it’s full. Eating with others will help you slow down, because you’re talking instead of simply shoveling fork-full after fork-full into your mouth.
Most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself and everything you have to be Thankful for this holiday season!