Tuesday, December 25, 2012

5 Portion Control Tricks For The Holidays

Ok let me start by saying, you should NEVER dread the holidays because of your food noise!  You should indulge during the holidays. No one ever got fat by having a couple bites of pumpkin pie or by having some stuffing. It’s just when you gorge and binge and feel guilty about it, then the next day you’ll wake up thinking that you’re going to go on a diet. Diets don’t work. What works is allowing yourself to eat in moderation. (And, as always ACE will help!)
The holidays are the perfect time to prove to yourself you can have a fantastic meal without overdoing it. Here are five tricks for keeping your portions in check at your holiday dinner:

1.  Spoil Your Appetite:

Your mother always said, “don’t spoil your appetite”, but I would like to challenge that.  If you fast all day in anticipation of the big meal, you’ll be starving by the time you sit down to eat and grab extra food that you don’t need. Your food noise will want you to binge on creamy mashed potatoes, even if your food voice is telling you to check yourself before you wreck yourself! Prevent this by grabbing a 200-calorie snack (something with protein and fiber) to eat right before you arrive (or your guests arrive) at your holiday dinner.  The point is to spoil your appetite, so you’re not so ravenous that you can’t make a smart decision. Plus, you’ll be able to truly taste the food and enjoy it instead of just eating for fuel.

2.  Sample everything:

The holiday dinner usually includes a lot more variety than your average weeknight meal. Instead of taking a full portion of each dish, give yourself a sampler platter. About two tablespoons per dish will give you a taste of everything and will fill up your plate faster than you think. 
Skinny tip: Use a small plate! I love this trick. You won’t even notice that your plate only fits half of what a full-sized plate holds, and your stomach will thank you.

3.  Eat slowly:

Savor each bite you take and enjoy the dinner table conversation while you eat. Wait before going back for seconds. Chances are you won’t want them after that.

4.  Split dessert:

Give yourself a small taste of each of the desserts being offered, and you won’t feel deprived.

5.  Drink plenty of water:

If you’re drinking alcoholic beverages, make sure you’re drinking at least as much water. Pace yourself by drinking a glass of water between cocktails or glasses of wine. This will slow down your alcohol consumption and your appetite.
Word to the wise: If things get stressful; as they sometimes do at family gatherings, go for a walk.
Last but not least, remember that the holidays are really about spending time with loved ones, so be sure you spend as much time talking, laughing, playing games, or having fun outdoors, as you do eating and imbibing. If anybody comments about how much you’re eating, laugh it off. You know what feels best for you. 

What are your tricks for keeping your portions in check on the holidays?

Share them in the comments below!
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