Staying Mindful for the Holidays
Often at holiday time we see articles with lists of tips on how to lighten up our favorite seasonal foods. But part of what many of us love to celebrate are those, yummy traditional foods, be they cookies, sugar plums, cakes, candies, roast meats, mashed potatoes, breads and more! With a little strategic planning, you can enjoy the foods you love and not feel overstuffed or ruin your weight loss goals.
- Downsize your plate size - Use smaller plates when possible for your meals and desserts. Your portions will automatically become smaller, yet they will still fill the plate, giving the impression of a larger and still satisfying meal.
- Browse the buffet - Check out all of the foods, and decide which you really, really want. That way, you won't load up on lesser-liked items.
- Divide and conquer - Start out with half the food you want the first time it is passed around, or when you serve yourself from a buffet. Eat more slowly and give your stomach time to begin feeling full before you fill your plate with more food.
- Make fruit or veggies a part of your plate - Serve a vegetable tray so there are some lower calorie choices or select such items from a buffet. If you're bringing a dish, bring a fruit or vegetable salad.
- Serve some foods separately - Rather than heaping whipped cream on desserts for guests or mixing in the salad dressing, pass around these higher calorie items and let people serve themselves. Also, include a lower calorie salad dressing choice.
- Make your first bites of pie your best bites - According to psychologists, your first bites of food taste best. If you slow down when eating dessert, you'll enjoy the taste more and may be satisfied with a smaller amount. Swallow each mouthful before taking the next bite! If you are becoming full, take the remaining treat home so you can enjoy it the next day.
- Provide take-home containers - Send extra food home with guests. Buy some inexpensive plastic containers or other take-home boxes. And avoid letting food sit out after a meal. Perishable food shouldn't be left at room temperature more than two hours.
- Be mindful during the holidays - The average person may gain a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year's. That doesn't sound so bad; however, people don't tend lose all this weight and it adds up over the years. There are usually plenty of opportunities to partake in higher-calorie foods throughout the holiday season. Plan ahead and check to see how hungry you are before you take your first bite.