You probably already know know that trying to stay on track with your meal plan can be challenging during this time of year. There are decadent desserts a-plenty, carb-filled side dishes galore and it is pretty easy to understand why so many people complain they’ve gained a few pounds by the time the New Year rolls around.
If you’re trying to avoid the weight scale going up this holiday season, there are steps that can help you make better choices during meal time without having to skip the enjoyment of family and food. Through portion control and limiting how much you eat (not necessarily what you eat), you’ll be able to have all the best that the holiday meals have to offer without sabotaging your healthy-eating plans.
Check out these simple ways to control your portions at holiday meals this year and your stomach and waistline will both be happy.
1. Choose a smaller plate. One of the quickest tricks to track of your healthy eating is to choose a smaller plate for dinner and dessert. Using a smaller plate will trick you into thinking you’re eating just as much as everyone else, but even if your plate is over-filled, you’ll have less on there than if your plate was the size of a regular dinner dish.
2. Drink water with your meal. When you sit down to eat your meal, make sure you have a big glass of water with you. Drinking just before eating or during your meal will help you fill more full, which will help keep you from taking seconds (or thirds).
3. Eat slower. Have you ever eaten a dish in record-speed only to feel ridiculously over-full about ten minutes later? It takes your stomach about 20 minutes after eating to realize that it is full. If you’ve ever been told you eat really fast, it’s no wonder you don’t realize you’re stuffed until your belly starts to ache.
To help curb overeating and adjust to having the right portion control at your holiday meal, eat slower than you normally would. In doing so, you are giving your body time to tell you, gently, that you’ve had enough and giving you time to recognize the signals.
4. Don’t wear your “fat pants”. Admit it, you have a special pair of pants in your closet that you only breakout during the holiday season and you’ve coined them your “fat pants”. They always look the same as everyone else’s, too – they’re just classy enough to wear for the family gatherings, but have that secret elastic waist making them a perfect companion for large food portions. Do yourself a favor and don’t wear them. You’re only giving yourself an excuse to overeat.
5. Limit your options. That “little bit” of everything that we tend to partake in during holiday meals add up quickly. You know, the “take a small scoop of this” and a “tiny handful of that” and before you know it, your portions are more typical for that of a small family, not one person.
If you’re the type that has to try a little bit of everything, limit how many types there are. Limit yourself to two to three side dishes, so even when you have a little of this and that, you won’t be having too much overall.
6. Use your hand as a guide. One simple way to control your portion size is to learn what a recommended portion size looks like. It’s easy to over-estimate if you’re just using your stomach growls and oversized food scoop as a guide, but there is a much simpler way to guess the right portion size and it’s right in your hand.
Portion sizes can be measured for each person using the size of their fist and palm. Check out this quick guide to hand measurements.
What will you be preparing for your holiday meals this year?
TapGenes Take Away: Use these simple portion-control tips to curb your eating this holiday season without sabotaging your diet or your fun.
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