How to Outsmart the Holiday Dinner Table
The holidays are coming up, and I am sure that you are just as excited for holiday food as I am. When else do we get to look forward to the quintessential turkey, stuffing and sweet potato pie? Even with Dutch ovens and chafing dishes filled to the brim, it is possible to not lose sight of our health and wellness goals. Adopting even just one or two of these tips can help keep you on target throughout the holiday season.
- We all know the house is going to smell delicious on that holiday morning. So don’t starve yourself in anticipation for one big meal! Stick to your regular eating schedule throughout the day to avoid the bloated guilt later.
- Don’t forget about seafood and plant-based options when planning your holiday menu and building your plate! Starting with veggies as an appetizer is beneficial because not only are vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals, they also contain a good amount of fiber and water to help you feel full, reducing the temptation to overindulge when it comes time for the main course and desserts.
- Use an 8-inch dinner plate instead of piling food sky-high on a large dinner plate and feeling like we have to “clean our plate.'' A smaller dinner plate will visually appeal to your senses and trick your brain into thinking you are eating the same amount.
- In making your plate, beware of the hidden pitfalls: gravies, jellies and sauces. Yes, they enhance the flavor of our food but they also pack a whopping amount of calories, sodium and added sugars that can lead to derailment.
- Get moving after dinner. It is a known fact that exercise lowers blood sugars and aids digestion, so why not get the family and friends involved and take a walk around the park.
- Plan ahead of time. Planning is key when it comes to staying on target- if you go in with a game plan, you are more likely to be a winner. This could mean knowing what you are going to eat and when. Bring a dish that you know meets your needs, and/or eat slowly and really savor the food you are eating while enjoying your company!
- Lastly, be sure to check in with yourself periodically (Asking am I hungry? Have I had water? Can I wait to eat that for tomorrow's leftovers?)
Learn more about Eat Fit at Ochsner.