With the holiday season in full swing, temptation is everywhere – from office parties to family gatherings to local cookies and potlucks. . Often we come to these hungry and unprepared events, overwhelmed by the dizzying array of choices, juggling a drink in one hand, a plate in the other and multiple conversations. By the time the party was over, we left having consumed a day of calories and a lot of guilt.
To help you avoid this from the start, we have developed a step-by-step guide to better manage holiday gatherings even before they start, so that you get the most out of it without sabotaging your weight loss goals. .
Many people skip meals to reserve calories for the main event. The problem with this tactic is that it only leaves the body voracious and potentially "haunted", resulting in overeating. Instead, eat well-balanced meals leading to the event, focusing on vegetable consumption. Try one of those high protein breakfast options: Egg Cuts with Spinach and Ham and Breakfast with cauliflower Stove .
Physical activity in any form gives us the impression of being energized, accomplished and motivated. Studies also show results of increased motivation exercises related to smarter food choices throughout the day. So by making an exercise point before your next holiday party, you are less likely to exaggerate at the aperitif table.
Eat 1-2 servings of high-fiber, nutrient-rich vegetables to fill your stomach before the party. It will do two things. First of all, you'll be less inclined to stuff yourself with high calorie snacks because you'll already have it filled up and then, because you do not know what the hosts are serving, you've already consumed your vegetables for the day. Opt for vegetables that are high in fiber and water while having low calories. Think: cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and squash.
Choose an option where vegetables are the star. Serve it yourself before adding other tantalizing foods to your plate, so you're committed to eating healthy, while still keeping your favorite holiday foods. Here are a few good ones to try: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans or Harvest Vegetable Medley recipe for a festive side, but in good health.
When you arrive, take a look at the full range of food before digging. You do not want to fill your plate, eat it and realize that you missed both choices really wanted.
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Water should always be your favorite drink at social events, as it is very easy to confuse thirst with hunger. Drinking water provides a more complete sensation when you eat your meal and also allows you to stay hydrated. Many other drinks, such as sodas, eggnog or some teas and coffees, contain empty calories. Although these are acceptable in moderation, the extra calories may be equal to those of the dessert.
Alcohol often flows freely at parties. And it's good to have some, keep in mind that alcohol has 7 calories per gram – almost double the calories of protein and carbohydrates. Tame your drink and drink a glass of water between cocktails to make sure you stay hydrated. Keep in mind: The dietary guideline for alcohol does not exceed two standard drinks a day for men and one for women.
There are usually rolls, specialty breads or crackers served at parties. Unless they are extraordinarily special, avoid bread and save yourself extra calories.
As you circulate the party, you probably already have a drink in your hand and some hors-d'oeuvres in your stomach. While this is A-OK for the party, it is likely that you are close to reaching your calorie limit for dinner. Do not worry, though: just use a smaller plate at dinner.
Before filling your plate, pay attention to your level of hunger and fullness . How much food do you really need on your plate to feel satisfied? Opt for an abundance of non-starchy vegetables first (think: salad or green leafy vegetables), followed by protein and then starch. At that time, you have probably consumed a good amount of calories, so try to balance the equation with a lot of vegetables and protein.
For many of us, dessert is when all hell breaks loose. This sweet sweet tooth makes the stomach feel magically empty after a marathon session. Take only what you really want, and if the dessert option is just meh, pass it on. If you decide to go for dessert, use a small plate to guide your portion and savor it. Take a bite, put the fork, talk to the people sitting around you. Ask yourself, do I really like this dessert? Otherwise, it is fine to stop. In fact, sometimes just a few bites to heal your sweet tooth and leave it satisfied and unpadded.
One of the most common mistakes made during the holidays is either to have a large amount of leftovers at home – or to go home with them. Typical holiday foods are high in calories, which is why we love them so much. Extending the holidays for two or three days makes restarting more difficult.
With all the temptations during the holidays, it is easy to abuse, but by practicing more and more of these tactics, these decisions become your new way of life. After the end of the holidays, you will be ready to continue your momentum and move to the new year enjoying your favorite foods while maintaining healthy eating habits. A win-win all around!