The Christmas holiday is upon us, a time of joy and celebrating around the table, and for many of us it’s hard to stay in control when faced with the variety of traditional dishes and desserts on offer. But of course we would like to enjoy the food, even if that means taking steps to shed the weight after the holidays.
They say that just the once won’t hurt, and so we want you to enjoy the pleasure that is eating. But what if there were another way to really enjoy food without necessarily giving in? This year we’re making it easy for you by offering our tips to keep your food goals in mind:
- Moderate the moderation: enjoy and have a good time.
Control leads to loss of control, especially at this time of year. Trust in doing things differently. Set a goal of enjoying food by choosing what you like the most, and by taking the rest of our advice.
- Start the day off with exercise to reduce your appetite.
Doing exercise as soon as we get up not only helps reduce sedentariness, but according to a study at Brigham Young University, 45 minutes of exercise in the morning helps curb appetite throughout the day. So ask Santa for a bike!
- Don’t eat hungry. You’ll eat too much.
One of the most common things that people who don’t want to gain weight during Christmas do is to “build up appetite” for dinners by eating as little as possible the rest of the day. That’s not a good idea.
- If you’re the host, opt for a healthy meal. They’ll thank you for it.
Although hosting a Christmas meal is a great responsibility, there is one advantage: you get to choose the menu! So be stylish and combine a classical menu with healthy, innovative fare.
- Be choosy. Focus on the dish you like the most.
The main problem with Christmas meals is that they’re not only excessive in every sense of the word, there are also many options. That’s why it’s best to think about the options before you start and carefully choose your must-eat foods.
- Feel free to say no, and say yes to flavor and a healthy lifestyle.
Whenever you say yes automatically (that is, without really feeling hungry) to seconds or to leftover dessert, think about what you’re saying no to in your life. Try saying no to start out with, and later if you’re hungry and it’s what you really want to eat, then eat it.
- Become a gourmet and enjoy as one.
When you eat with others you tend to more easily disconnect with how hungry and full you feel. To prevent that, savor the food slowly, identify the ingredients, compare it with other years and in the process put the fork down between bites. You’ll notice the difference.
- Watch what you drink if you want to be aware of what you’re eating.
Alcohol is one of the great dangers of the holiday season. Enjoy your glass of wine and champagne conscientiously (before you lose it). To drink less, quench your thirst with a glass of water before eating.
- Forget leftovers and be generous. Give them to someone else.
At Christmastime there are always leftovers that are handed out in containers so everyone can have seconds the next day. Before taking yours, consider if you really need it.
- Do you really want to overeat by yourself because of emotional stress?
Reuniting with family and friends or seeing them more often than usual could force us to deal with difficult emotions. Be aware of this so you can choose between consciously enjoying eating or using food as a tranquilizer.