Through my awesome insurance company, I receive a life coach who calls me once a month to go over goals regarding my health and well being.
Our focus this month was about the upcoming holidays and how one can easily gain 10 pounds in just a few short weeks.We were going over tips on how to deal with dinner parties and other holiday festivities orientated around food.Some of the tips I found the most useful were:
1.If you know what is going to be served, write down on a piece of paper what you are going to allow yourself to eat and bring it with you.The more conscious you are of what you are going to eat the more likely you will be successful.
**Plus you can childishly blame the piece of paper when a piece of pecan pie is calling to you.
2.Buffets – Observe what is offered and decide what you are going to eat before you even pick up your plate.Allow yourself one plate and once filled do not linger around the table the rest of the evening.
3.Hors d’oeuvre and snacking- This is my crux.I think most of my holiday calories are consumed away from the table, either over indulging in hors d’oeuvres or ‘sampling’ food as I cook. If you are going to a party, try eating a bowl of soup or salad before you attend, when you tummy is full, you are less likely to indulge in holiday treats.If you don’t want to miss out on these treats, allow yourself one service.Is the scrumptious treat you’re eyeing worth picking up a plate and serving yourself?
4. Don't skip meals leading up the event. It would seem to make sense to skip lunch if thanksgiving dinner is at 3pm, but really happens is you come to the table STARVING and eat way more than you need or even really wanted.
5.Carry a glass of water with you, with your hands occupied you are less likely to absently grab a small handful of mixed nuts from the bowl ever time you pass it.
***And really, is it considered ‘absently grabbing’ when you are continuously passing by the bowl which isn’t even near where you were going or want to be)
6.Socialize. I tend to forget that I go to these events to socialize with friends and family and not to eat.Before you attend think of those you know in attendance and think of some topics or questions you would like to ask.The more involved you with the people around you the less time you will be thinking about the food just a few feet away.If you don’t know many people are going to be in attendance, then set a goal to get to know X number of people.For the anti-social people out there (I am been a proud member since 1982), this not only a great way to help your waist line but a great way to boost confidence and help with those social skills.
7.When it is finally time to sit down and eat, try to find a small plate. It has been scientifically proven that the larger the plate the more you will eat. Cut your food into small portions and eat slowly.Bring a large glass of water to the table and make a conscious effort to take drinks after every 2-3 bites.Socialization is a great resource here because as long as you remember the golden rule of table manners “Don’t talk with your mouth full” you will spend more time talking then eating.
**NOTE: My life coach also advised to find a quiet place to eat and enjoy your food and then we both bust out laughing when we remembered I had five kids…may work for you though.
I want some of your advice too!! What does and doesn’t work for you around the holiday season?