The holiday season can be a stressful time of year for those that are trying to manage weight. Family get-togethers revolve around food, and weight is a common talking point. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the holidays while managing weight and enjoying food.
If you are worried about portion sizes, using a smaller plate may help.
Using a smaller plate may convince your brain that your body is full before your stomach recognizes that fullness. Placing food on a smaller plate, as opposed to a large plate, makes it appear more abundant and helps control portion size.
Allow yourself to try each item.
Rather than only putting the “healthy” items on your plate, allow yourself to enjoy a small portion of each item. You can enjoy the salad, the mashed potatoes, the turkey, and even pumpkin pie. Portions may be adjusted if you are closely monitoring calories, but no food has to be completely “off-limits” unless it is an allergy or intolerance!
Snack throughout the day to avoid bingeing.
Rather than “saving your calories” and overeating at dinner, snack breaks throughout the day may help reduce the urge to binge later. Drinking plenty of water may also help reduce hunger by filling space in the stomach without adding excess calories.
Enjoy a walk or a game of football with family.
Exercise can feel like a chore when it is an activity that we do not enjoy. Exercise in ways that make your body and mind feel good while enjoying time with friends and family. Exercise should not be done out of guilt or fear that we have eaten too much. It should be an enjoyable way that we take care of our bodies. So, enjoy a walk with family or play football for fun, but focus on enjoying yourself more than trying to "burn off" that piece of pie you had earlier.
Thanksgiving and Christmas do not have to be stressful for those that are trying to manage weight. Trying some of these tips may help ease anxiety around food while promoting a healthy, balanced diet. Remember to enjoy your meals and enjoy time with family and friends if you are able to do so!