It is easy to go overboard with indulgences at this time of the year. So how do you get through without putting on extra weight? By practicing mindful eating.
I believe that food should be celebrated with friends and love ones; however it is quite easy to go overboard at this time of year.
Here are ten ways that we can all practice mindful eating and still enjoy the holidays.
Never go to the party hungry.
The hungrier you are, the less capable you are of staying in control.
You are more likely to binge, resulting in greater weight gain.
Recruit a calorie watching buddy.
Sometimes you need someone looking over your shoulder to stay on course. Choose this person wisely. Find someone with similar health goals who would be equally committed to staying healthy during the holidays.
Check the entire buffet line before getting your plate.
You do not have to try every dish!
Choose at least three foods you definitely want to try and start with small portions; remember a little of a lot equates to a lot.
Include vegetables and fruits in your line up
Watch portion sizes.
When the menu is Hors d’oeuvres, try to put everything on one plate. This way you can pay attention to how much you are actually consuming.
Switch to a small dinner plate, the amount of food on the plate will look bigger.
Put your fork down and have a sip of water
Chew your food several times before swallowing. Savour every bite. The digestion process starts with the enzymes in your saliva.
Avoid standing near the snacks
Small snacks can be loaded with calories. Chances are you will pick up at least three or four pieces and before you know it; you would have had the equivalent of a small meal.
Go easy on the alcohol
Holidays are notorious for tempting us with drinks we wouldn’t normally consume. It is quite easy to over indulge on liquid calories. Alcohol offers no nutrients just empty calories.
Try sparkling water with a little fruit juice or a lemon or opt for a small glass of wine.
Take a break
Before heading to the table for seconds, go for a stroll or have a chat with friends.
Then ask yourself if you are still hungry. If you are, then have a small portion of one or two foods that you really wanted to try. Add some vegetables and a glass of water.
If you aren’t hungry, then that’s great! Don’t get tempted.
Say no politely
At this time of year, hostess often keep putting food in front of you. Learn to say no politely, such as, ‘Everything was delicious but I can’t hold another bite.’
Always stay positive
If you do have a bad day, don’t stress about it. Just get back on track the next day!
Maybe this year, your New Year’s resolution does not have to be losing those extra holiday pounds.
Dr. Kim Solomon is a registered Family Physician