The holidays are a reminder of how wonderful and fulfilling life is. Make your meal experiences just as satisfying as you hit the party circuit!
Can we make a vow to ignore all of the holiday weight loss posts that are swimming around on the Internet? Okay, cool. Vow made.
All this talk around what you can and can’t eat is tiring, isn’t it? So instead, let’s talk about how to actually be satisfied during the holidays! Here’s how you do it:
1. SNACK BEFOREHAND & EAT WHEN GENTLY HUNGRY
This is the foundation of every other tip that follows – the one that, if you fully commit, will allow you to more completely experience the day and enjoy it.
You don’t need to “make up” for anything you eat, ever – with exercise, with eating less earlier or later that day, with medication – nothing. If you were to skip a meal or snack the day of the event, here’s what would happen:
- You will get increasingly light-headed and ‘hangry’ during the day. Most bodies work best when fed every 3-5 hours, so to wait from the time you wake up until a ~4pm dinner is a really long time.
- By the time dinner rolls around, you may be so hungry that you eat quickly, can’t adjust to fullness cues, and overeat to the point of sickness.
- You will likely spend most of your day thinking about food instead of having brain space to enjoy the time with family and friends.
If you wake up and eat a breakfast in accordance with your hunger and fullness, or snack as needed throughout the day, you will be able to better for it. The key here is to not overthink it.
2. CONSIDER WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO EAT
Have you ever realized that some of your “favorite” foods are things you don’t actually like – they’re just things that have the “forbidden fruit” mentality surrounding them. When we do have an opportunity to eat them, it creates the perception that we need to eat them as much as possible, and then feel guilty about it.
Remember, just because it’s available or a once-a-year food doesn’t mean you have to eat it. If you make all foods available to yourself on a normal basis, it allows you to see clearly and carefully consider what you actually like – because there’s no need to obsess or binge. So grab a small sample platter of whatever looks good, then go back for more if you find that you enjoy it. If you know whose “famous” recipes you absolutely love, you can head straight for those first!
Don’t forget to recognize that the holidays are a time when the eating game is just different. There’s more food, more types of food, more people, more stress, more of everything – so be OK with the fact that eating will be different, too.
3. ENJOY THE BEGINNING OF YOUR MEAL (AND THE REST OF IT, TOO!)
There are so many tips that focus on what to eat first, such as salad to “fill up”, veggies first, drinking a huge amount of water – all in the name of not eating “too much.”
But here’s what happens when you start with something less appealing or something you’re forcing yourself to eat: you still want the other stuff that you’re waiting on! And what’s more, if you really want it, that may outweigh your growing fullness levels and you may end up eating past the point of fullness. That’s why it’s an important concept to simply eat in a joyful way for the whole meal, which will allow you to tune in to your body.
Now, that’s a better way of enjoying your holidays!
For more tips for your holiday meals, read the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: JENNIFER PALLIAN
Amy Hanneke, RDN, LD is an Idaho-based Registered Dietitian and owner of Satisfy Nutrition. Through an anti-diet approach in her nutrition coaching practice, Amy firmly believes in helping individuals live a life without restrictions, full of joy, self care, and delicious food. Learn more about Amy at Satisfy Nutrition.