Be Thankful Be Mindful

Be Thankful, Be Mindful
The average weight gain over the holiday season can range anywhere from 1-10 pounds. It’s all about what you eat AND how you approach the table this holiday season. Here are some tips to consider while trying to keep your healthy habits and avoid gaining weight.

Before

Eat a balanced breakfast and maybe a light lunch or snack depending when your dinner is. This will allow you to approach the meal with more control and less hunger. Do not skip meals all days to “save room” or “save calories” for the big meal later. This is basically setting yourself up to overindulge.
Be mindful when eating appetizers. They will spoil the meal for you and can add hundreds of extra calories.
When is the best time of the day to eat? The optimal time to eat your meal is between noon and 3 o’clock. This gives your stomach time to empty and your body time to digest the food. This also gives you the option to wait a while before enjoying dessert.

During

Sometimes we can’t control what shows up on the table around the holidays. What we can do is know what the best choices are.
First look at all the options.
Start your plate with non-starchy foods first. Avoid filling your plate with stuffing, rolls, macaroni and cheese. Begin with a protein then add some vegetables and see where things may go from there. Wait to see if you are even still hungry before diving in to those carb loaded foods.
You could also take extremely small servings of everything to get a taste and maybe go back for a slightly larger helping of something you really enjoyed
Use a dessert plate over the large plates to help keep your portions in check.
Choose sweet potatoes over mashed potatoes…that is if the sweet potatoes weren’t made with 20 pounds of sugar!
Avoid drowning your turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and whatever else in GRAVY… a little can go a long way.
Avoid vegetables cooked in creams, gravy, or butter…these are very fatting and full of calories.
Limit the carbs. Either choose your favorite or consider taking very small servings of different things.
Choose apple pie over pecan pie…try sharing a piece with someone!
DO NOT over eat! Listen to your body. When you get to the point of fullness, you are probably OVER FULL. Stop when you feel comfortable or satisfied. This is not your last supper, nor will it be the only time to enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes, or stuffing this year.
Get up from the table when you are finished. The longer we sit with food right in front of us the more likely we will keep helping ourselves until we can’t button our jeans.
Avoid wandering around and picking at the food after the meal. There will be leftovers for you to enjoy for days to come (especially if you’re hosting). Brush your teeth, pop in a mint or gum to freshen your mouth and hopefully steer you away from eating any more.

After

Get up after you’ve finished your meal. Go help clear the table or with the dishes. Stand up while having a conversation or go throw around the football outside. Slouching or laying on the couch after eating can increase your chance of having heart burn and really slow things down digestively. Stay active to keep things flowing!