Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! Since this is the time of year where we celebrate several holidays and go to lots of gatherings, many of which include the opportunity to gorge ourselves on delicious food, I thought I’d share a few tips to help avoid that trap.
It’s been found that the average person gains about a pound during the time frame from Thanksgiving until New Year’s. To avoid this, we often put ourselves into a me-versus-food situation. We determine that we’re not going to indulge in all those goodies and put ourselves on some kind of strict plan.
When we can’t stick to the plan, we start to feel we’ve failed and then think, “well, I’ve already messed up; I might as well just eat whatever I want and not worry about it.” That often ends up in that holiday weight gain we just talked about.
I would suggest an alternative: Let’s determine that we’re going to go with a more moderate approach, eat the things we really want to eat, and have a plan in place to avoid overindulging when we go to the many gatherings we attend this year.
Tips To Avoid Overeating At Parties:
Unless you’re going to a sit-down dinner, don’t go to the party hungry. Eating a light snack before you leave for the party can pay huge dividends when you get there. If you’re not feeling hungry, you won’t be as likely to overeat.
Drink plenty of water, especially if you’re drinking alcohol. This helps in a couple of different ways. First of all, water can help you feel full and keep you from wanting as much to eat. The second way it helps is that because drinking alcohol can lower your inhibitions and cause you to eat more, having a glass of water for every drink you have can help dilute this effect.
Do a ‘walk-around’ before putting food on your plate. How many times have you gone through the buffet line and started putting things on your plate, and by the time you got to the really good stuff, you didn’t have anymore room on there? And you know how it goes – once the food is on your plate, you don’t want to appear rude, so you have to eat it, even if you don’t really want it.
Don’t deprive yourself. I’m not saying you should just go crazy and fill up on everything you possibly can, but when we go in feeling we “can’t” eat certain things we eat much more of the things we feel we can eat trying to make up for what we can’t. Rather than depriving yourself, eat what you really want, just eat a smaller portion of it. Having one or two really good bites is much more satisfying than having a whole plate of food you don’t really care about eating.
Don’t sit or stand near the table. When you’re in close proximity to the table, it’s just too tempting to keep picking at all those delicious goodies. It’s almost as if they just call out to you. Once you fill your plate, find a place away from the table to sit or stand and visit.
Be mindful of the real reason you’re there to begin with. If you’re at a party, chances are you didn’t really go there for the food; you went there to enjoy some time with colleagues, friends or family members. Use this time to connect/reconnect with people and have some fun. If you’re having good conversations with others you won’t even be thinking about the food.
It’s easy to overeat during the holidays when we’re going to so many different gatherings, but we don’t have to get caught in that trap. Having a game plan ahead of time can help us avoid the pitfalls and enjoy the party.
What are your top tips for avoiding overeating at holiday parties? Please share!