It has begun. The holiday season is upon us, and we all know what that means…Food, more food, and then probably a little bit more food.
I’m all about cooking up an aromatic storm for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’s possible I get carried away with all the delicious options in front of me at gatherings. To help motivate myself to not gain 500 pounds, and hopefully help others as well, I figured I’d make a little list of ways to avoid the holiday weight gain. I don’t think I usually gain much (if any) weight over the holidays, but I’m also not winning any bikini competitions. Therefore, I declare it time to restrain the gluttonous part of me.
And just so we’re clear, I’m not saying eat depressing salads every day, don’t eat pie, or reject your grandmother’s home cooking. That is blasphemy. I’m talking about moderation of the heavenly food that inevitably accompanies the holidays.
Eat a little bit of everything and a lot of nothing. Okay, if you really dig mashed potatoes (guilty), whatever, get seconds. I’m just saying, if you try a little bit of everything, and don’t get too carried away with any one dish, you’ll probably be better off and won’t have a pound of pie sitting in your already full belly.
Only eat a plate full. Getting seconds, or even thirds, of some food is kind of how I roll on Thanksgiving. If something is especially “amazeballs”, then you bet I’m going to want extra. However, I feel like if I limited myself to only one plate full, I can avoid the OH MY GOD I’M SO FULL AND THINK I’M GOING TO DIE feeling.
If you’re full, you’re allowed to stop. I don’t know about you, but when I’m at someone’s house eating their food, I sometimes feel pressured to get seconds. You want them to know you love their food, but you also might be suffering from a food baby (or perhaps food twins; congrats!), so I say, if you’re already full, stop eating (I’m full of groundbreaking information here). Perhaps just be enthusiastic and let them know how delicious their food is so people are all…
Skip the extras. If gravy completes you, get the gravy; just don’t pour a vat of it all over your food. However, if you’re indifferent, you might as well cut the calories and give the extras (e.g. whipped cream/ice cream on pie or gravy) the cold shoulder.
Bring a healthier dish to the gathering. This is one of my favorite tricks for eating at parties in general. If you know there will be a bunch of badness calling to you, I like to contribute a semi-healthy dish so I know I’ll at least have that as an option.
Don’t wear your fat pants. Thanksgiving is not a time to get your maternity pants out to allow extra growth. I personally wouldn’t want to wear tight clothes, but that is an option that might help. If you wear loose-fitting clothes, you might feel like you have more room for food. Fat pants = bad. Semi-tight-fitting clothing = good.
Eat lighter meals around the major ones. I tend to not eat much on Thanksgiving day because I’m busy preparing food / I’m mentally preparing for the big meal. I find that making a salad or smoothie as a pregame situation before the main event helps. That way you’re not ravenous by the time the main meal is ready, and you have an appetite to eat more of the goodness.
Eat slow. It’s quite simple, really. If you eat slower, you’ll most likely not eat as much. A huge bonus is your stomach can also get a chance to feel full before you’ve already gone to the point of no return. Savor that green bean casserole. Really focus on the delicious goodness that is pecan pie.
Don’t stand by the pre-meal snacks. If I’m by a table of munchies (e.g. chips, dip, etc.), there’s a good chance that I’m mindlessly snacking on them for funsies. To avoid this, it helps me to not hang out by the food.
And that’s all I’ve got! By following these guidelines, I think we all have a better chance of not gaining 500 pounds. Good luck, my friends. And happy holidays!
Questions for you:
How do you avoid holiday weight gain? Do you have any tips you’d add to this list?
What’s your kryptonite at holiday gatherings?
Do you have fun plans for Thanksgiving?