Tis the season to be jolly, right? But does this mean you have to increase your waistline as well? Not necessarily. Check out the following tips to keep a svelte figure while enjoying those holiday gatherings.
- Divert your attention. Rather than looking a an upcoming party as an upcoming food event, focus on the company of friends, socializing, dancing, anything other than the buffet table. Keeping your mind on conversation and socialization will help distract you from stuffing your face. After all, it's difficult to talk with a mouthful of gingerbread.
- Limit alcoholic beverages. Drinking lowers inhibitions so you become less aware of how many calories you're ingesting. Plus, cocktails are frequently loaded with sugar and calories as well! Studies suggest that consumption of alcohol increases appetite so having several drinks at a party where high calorie food is everywhere can be a double whammy!
- Increase water intake. The more water you drink the more full you will feel so you're less likely to feel the urge to overindulge. Additionally, standing around and chatting with a glass of water with a slice of lemon or lime will make it appear you're having a cocktail, thus keeping those well-meaning folks from offering drinks.
- Eat prior to the party. Reducing the amount of food you eat earlier in the day can be counter-productive. You are more likely to overeat when you're hungry. Plus, on a psychological level, we tend to feel we can eat more when we've starved ourselves all day.
- Pace yourself. Eat slower and really chew your food. It will fill you up faster.
- Be choosy. When filling your plate, try going for the simplest foods, avoiding the ones with dips, gravy, or sauces.
- Portion control. If there are several items to choose from and everything looks delicious, place a small amount of each item on your plate. That way you get to taste everything. This will also help alleviate the need for antacids later in the evening.
- Walk it off. Plan on a little extra exercise the day of the event as well as the morning after. A simple walk can help undo the effects of overindulgence.
Try putting these simple tips to use at your next holiday event. It will be worth it when you step on the scale in January!