You may have heard the unfortunate statistic that the average American gains 1 to 2 pounds over the holidays, thanks to the “abundance” of the season. One to two pounds…not a big deal, right? Problem is, according to a lesser-known statistic, the average American doesn’t lose those 1 to 2 pounds once the holidays are over. Lump a few years of this tendency together, and you see how weight gain happens.
Here’s a smart plan to help you steer clear of this holiday “tradition” once and for all. Use it for work parties, family get-togethers, and any other holiday gathering where food and drink are offered.
BEFORE YOU GO
Eat normally beforehand. Many people “starve” themselves before a party, knowing they’re going to indulge that night. Bad move. If you’re hungry, you will overeat that night. It’s best to eat normally on the day of the function, and even grab a quick, healthy snack before you leave for it.Managing your appetite throughout the day, will reduce your urge to overindulge.
Wear form-fitting clothes to the party. This may seem a bit extreme for some people, and that’s fine. For others, it works. The idea here is, with a shirt or blouse that fits snugly to your torso, for example, you’ll have a clear, sensory off-switch that signals when to stop eating.
Be sociable. Yes, there is often a lot of good food and drink at holiday gatherings. But focus on the social aspect of the event rather than the food. Go with the primary intent of enjoying the conversation and holiday cheer.
AT THE EVENT
Reach for the special stuff. Scan the food offerings, and skip the things you eat frequently, or that are available all year long. Indulge only in your favorites. Savor them slowly and mindfully.
Limit your selections. Make it a rule to place only two items on your plate at any one time. Finish those items before returning to the buffet table. Experts say that variety often stimulates appetite. This is what you are trying to avoid.
Slow down. Taking your time when eating is always a good weight-control strategy. Chewing slowly allows you to fill up on less food. Get in the habit of putting your fork down between every bite.
Switch it up. If you drink alcohol, alternate an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink throughout the evening. This does two important things. First, you’ll likely consume far fewer calories, as alcoholic drinks tend to be high in calories. And second, you’ll be more in control of the food you’re taking in.
ONCE YOU’RE HOME
Toast yourself with tea. Back home, indulge in a nightcap of non-caffeinated herbal tea. As you sip, take comfort that you enjoyed the party and you didn’t overindulge. You’ll sleep well knowing that your weight control efforts remain intact.