As a dietitian, this is the one time of year where I feel like the "tips and tricks" could just keep coming out of the bag. The amount of dieting around (and right after) the holidays annoys me. Mindful eating people. Mindful eating. I'm not going to tell you skip the gravy and avoid the mashed potatoes. Because, let's get real...even in my book, it's all about the gravy, baby.
Consider using one or a few of these basic tips to make your holiday season healthy and happy.
1. Save the Best for Last - Research suggests we tend to get more enjoyment and consume less post-meal (snacks, anyone?) if we eat our favorite food last. Love sweet potatoes with crusty, sugary topping? Save it for the last bite.
2. Sit Down - for the love! It sounds so simple, but if you're walking around nibbling, somehow these calories become invisible (we'll consume more) and it's hard to enjoy the food while balancing the plate, fork, and/or child in tow.
3. State your 3 favorite holiday foods (out loud) - It's likely you named things that only come around a couple times a year. What is it about the gingerbread men that makes you drool? The texture? Taste? Smell? Then think about how much you enjoy the filler foods available year round, like dinner rolls. Focus on the foods you love.
4. Rethink the holidays - In a lot of ways, the holiday meals are like any other meal. There is often an abundance of food. Viewing the holidays as "different" or "special" seems to imply a different way we should eat. Yes, it is a holiday. However, being mindful of what you're eating is not a diet. You don't have to avoid good food. It just means eat slowly, with awareness. That folks, is something you can do all year long. :)