The holidays are around the corner and we all know what that means . . . bags of Halloween candy, pumpkin pies, sweet potato casserole, and all of those warm chocolate chip cookies (for Santa, of course). Unfortunately, all of those yummy treats are NOT calorie friendly and can result in some pesky pounds. It also doesn’t help that most family traditions usually include gathering around the dinner table. We have a full spread with enough food to feed an army. The drinks are flowing. But before you know it, you consume 2,000 calories in one sitting. And don’t forget those leftovers!
You are not alone in the holiday overindulgence!
We have all been there. I am not lying when I say that I have been known to devour in an entire tray of Costco chocolate chip cookies . . . in three days. I do have to say it’s pretty impressive, but not the wisest choice.
For the last few years, my family and I have become more health conscientious. My husband and I feel strongly about leading by example when it comes to our children. How can I tell them they are only allowed to have one cookie, “because it is not the best for you,” after they see me eat twenty? Might have been twenty-five but who’s counting?
If this is you, don’t fret. You’re in luck! I have some tips that will help you avoid the pesky pounds that come from overeating and overindulging! These tips have worked for me and have helped to eliminate the extra weight gain that I use to struggle with during the holiday season.
1. Start with the greens!
Before filling your plate with turkey, mashed potatoes, and let’s not forget in true New Mexico style, that red chile, hit the veggie tray. Indulge in carrots, broccoli, celery, and the black olives that your kids have already put on the ends of their fingers and then back on the tray again. Or you can try starting with a salad. Fiber dense foods help you feel full longer without the excess calories.
2. Water, water, & more water!
Sip on water in between each meal and alcoholic beverage. Drinking water before and during a meal can help digestion as well nutrient absorption. Water also tricks your stomach into feeling full so you won’t reach for that second serving so quickly. Drinking water in between each alcoholic beverage can curb the craving for salty foods, leading you to eat more turkey. Alcohol is filled with sugar which is why people crave salty snacks to offset the sweetness. The alcohol and salt lead to dehydration, which then lead to more drinking. If you struggle with drinking enough water as it is, here are some tips from another mom to help you out!
3. Portion control!
Use smaller plates! Instead of grabbing that cafeteria style plate with six different sections (those are my favorite), grab a desert plate. Most likely you will be back for that second round of mashed potatoes and gravy. Using smaller plates limits the amount of food you can serve yourself. Even if you go back for seconds, your serving size will still be much smaller than it would have been if you had used a regular plate.
4. Cookies, cakes & pies, OH MY!
Wait to have your sweet treat until the end of your meal. After having a meal, drink a full glass of water before dessert. This will help to only grab one treat instead of three! If you already had your dessert and you’re still hungry, head back to that veggie tray. The fiber will fill you up again and you will avoid the extra calories from the butters, creams, and sugars that all of those yummy desserts contain.
I hope you enjoyed these tips! If you are looking for healthy snacking options during the holiday season head over to this mamas post about smart snacking!