According to the National Institute of Health, Americans typically gain an extra pound due to holiday eating. This need not be true in your case, as long as you develop the right holiday eating habits. As far as many experts are concerned, no kind of food has to be banned during the holidays as long as you enjoy them in moderation and you do not suffer from any chronic disease that would require strict adherence to diet regulations.
Use Smaller Plates
When your brain sees a full plate, it will automatically register that you will be full by the time you eat all of the food on it. It is best to use a smaller plate because the brain does not consider whether the plate you are using is much smaller than what you usually use.
Eat Healthier Foods
Contrary to popular opinion, healthy foods do not always taste bland. It is just a matter of finding the best way to cook them. Search online for popular restaurants or recipes for vegetable and fruit dishes. Load up on these types of dishes before consuming cholesterol-rich dishes, such as steaks and lamb chops. This way, by the time you get to the fattening dishes, you will already feel sufficiently full and will not be tempted to overeat.
Do Not Starve Yourself
When you know you have a big holiday buffet or meal to look forward to in the evening, you might have a tendency not to eat the whole day because you know you can eat your fill later on. Deliberately making yourself hungry, however, will not be any good for your weight. It will only make you feel a stronger urge to eat as much as you want, and crave the less healthier options that are loaded with carbs and calories.
Try to eat small portions every few hours. This will reduce the risk of excessive holiday eating and instead help you savor your dinner without gaining weight.
Take Your Time Eating
Start by taking a little bit of everything and savoring each dish. Take your time tasting the flavors. While you are enjoying your meal, be sure that you also enjoy your surroundings, or the company of your family and friends – anything that will entertain you and keep your mind off of eating too much.
By eating slowly, you will give your brain and stomach enough time to synchronize. When you eat too fast, your brain will be delayed into alerting your body that you have already consumed your fill. By the time your body receives that warning, you will have already eaten more than you should.
Compensate with Water
Do not forget to drink as much water as you can. Water can help control your holiday eating habits in various ways. Drinking water while you enjoy your meal helps you feel full and less inclined to binge. Deliberately opting for water instead of other beverages will also help you control your weight gain because other popular holiday drinks, such as lattes, alcoholic beverages and sodas, are often loaded with fattening calories.