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Fitness

7 Tips for Holiday Eating

The season of turkey and treats will be here soon. Here’s how to make sure you can still fit into your uniform when it’s over.

DON’T ARRIVE AT A PARTY HUNGRY

Holiday parties can be a minefield of fatty foods and sugary treats. Before you go, grab a healthy snack like a piece of fruit, yogurt or a handful of almonds. Filling up beforehand will make it a lot easier to resist temptation from appetite triggers, such as seeing other people eating.

USE A SMALLER PLATE

Seeing a big spread of goodies tickles our love of variety, and it’s human nature to want to try everything. Most people make poor guesses about portion sizes. Grabbing a smaller-sized plate will help you eat less by creating an optical illusion: The same amount of food looks like more on a smaller plate. Another quick trick to keep your calories in check at a buffet is to sit far away from the food, making it less convenient to go back for second helpings.

CHOW DOWN ON VEGGIES FIRST

Fill up half your plate with fruit and vegetables, and eat those first; the fiber will help you feel full. Broth-based soup, salad topped with low-fat dressing and a serving of fruit, and low-calorie appetizers are also good options. Top off a quarter of your plate with grains or bread, and take up another quarter with protein, such as meat, fish or poultry. Use the MyPlate icon at ChooseMyPlate.gov/about.html as a guide to choosing healthy foods.

TAKE IT SLOW

Instead of scarfing down your food, focus on enjoying one bite at a time. You’ll get to savor Mom’s stuffing a little longer, and eating at a slower pace will give your body a chance to signal your brain that you are full.

GO EASY ON THE LIQUID CALORIES

Excessive drinking doesn’t do your waistline any favors. And it’s not just alcohol. High-calorie drinks like eggnog, energy drinks and soda also make you pack on the pounds. Substitute one glass of water between each drink of your choice to save hundreds of calories (and the morning-after headache).

ASK, “DO I REALLY NEED ANOTHER HELPING?”

It’s easy to overeat with all of your favorite holiday dishes around. Before going back for more, take a timeout first and ask yourself if you’re actually still hungry. Pausing for a moment will help you resist the urge to overindulge. Stop eating right before you feel full to help avoid that food-coma feeling. Place your napkin over your plate to remind yourself that you’re done. If you are hosting, keep in mind that guests will gratefully take leftovers with them.

TALK MORE, EAT LESS

Instead of hovering by the food trays, mingle with family and friends. The holidays are a perfect time to catch up with the people you care about most, and socializing will help you avoid the ultimate food fail: unnecessary snacking. Sip water to keep yourself hydrated and feeling full. If the weather is nice enough, take a walk around the neighborhood to see holiday decorations.

 

STAY HEALTHY ALL YEAR-ROUND

For more tips on healthy eating, fitness and medical readiness, visit GuardYourHealth.com

 

Photo @SHUTTERSTOCK