December is upon us and for many in the days to come you’ll attend or host a dinner, sometimes multiple dinners. It is not uncommon to overindulge, if you are like me you are probably good for 2 plates of food and dessert. After dinner, we typically unwind and pass out on a comfy couch or chair succumbing to a food induced coma.
Here are a 5 things you can do to thin out your holidays:
- Get active – at any point in the day try to get out for a walk, attend a fitness class, or lift weights. Whether you have time before or after try to create a caloric deficit by doing some activity.
- Portion control – Be mindful of what, and how much you put on your plate. Avoid going back to get seconds. Once you finish your first plate get up from the table and move to another room. The longer you sit in front of food the more likely you are to eat what is in front of you.
- Slowly Savor – Take your time to enjoy your meal. Set your fork down in between each bite. Add a little more turkey (light on the gravy), fruits, vegetables and water. Food higher in protein, fiber and water content will satiate your appetite faster and keep you full longer than loading up on heavy carbohydrate foods such as potatoes and bread.
- Limit the Alcohol – calories from alcohol can add up quickly. Drinking beer or having a mixed drink can be high in empty calories and dehydrate you quickly. Set a limit on drinks, have a glass of water in between cocktails or designate yourself to drive home that evening.
- Host with healthy recipes – If you are hosting try to cut caloric corners. Holiday dinners can be heavy with oil or butters, high in sodium and fat. Try to reduce fat and oil use where ever you can while cooking. Substitute plain yogurt or fat free sour cream in mashed potatoes, casseroles or dips. Finally, use fat free, low sodium chicken broth to baste your turkey and make gravy from
Be realistic, temptation can be high, but set a realistic goal by trying to maintain an average caloric intake over the weekend. If you falter and give in, just remember being active is an ongoing lifestyle habit, one bump in the road should not deter you from reaching your goals. Stick to these tips and your belt will thank you!