Holiday Eating Strategies
Great advice I read and wanted to share, from The Spectrum, by Dean Ornish.
The only thing I’d add is this: While small sips of water may be helpful for slowing down eating, remember the teaching from Ayurveda. Ice-cold water will impede digestion, put unhealthy strain on digestive organs and create discomfort. Too much water will dilute the digestive juices, also leading to discomfort. So sip a little room temperature water, don’t try to fill up on water, and no ice thank you. Warm wishes for a contented Thanksgiving, Kit
Enjoy the Holiday Without Pigging Out, by Dean Ornish in The Spectrum
Prepare to Indulge Before the Holidays
During the holidays, it’s virtually impossible not to eat more than we want to. I’m pretty disciplined about my diet, yet at holiday parties and dinners, like everyone else, I find myself reaching for that extra cookie or brownie. After all, it’s the holidays, the time of year to eat, drink, and be merry.
Knowing that you’re going to indulge yourself during the holidays makes it easier to eat a little more mindfully in the weeks before Thanksgiving. You know what to do: cut back on fat, refined carbohydrates, and calories, and exercise more.
How to Indulge During the Holidays
Eat something before hand. If you don’t eat all day, you may arrive at holiday meals and parties ravenous and lose control. Have a low-calorie but filling snack beforehand: an apple, a whole-grain bagel, a small bowl of soup, or whole-grain cereal.
Put 20 percent fewer high-calorie foods and 20 percent more fruits and vegetables on your plate. Studies show that you probably won’t notice the difference.
Eat the healthier foods first – they will fill you up somewhat, so you’ll be less likely to overeat the more-indulgent foods.
Choose foods that leave evidence – e.g., keep the shrimp tails and chicken wing bones on your plate after you’ve eaten them. Studies show that if you have cues to see how much you’ve eaten, you’ll eat less.
Try not to put more than two or three items on your plate at one time. We eat more when food is in front of us.
Eat more slowly. The faster we eat, the more we eat. It takes up to twenty minutes after eating for the brain to realize that we’re full. Sip water between bites. Holiday meals last longer than typical meals. If you wolf down your food, your plate may be clean while others are still eating, which will lead to seconds. If you take a sip of water after every bite or two, it slows you down. You don’t eat as much and you don’t get uncomfortably stuffed.
If you have a choice, use a smaller plate. A study found that people ate more popcorn when it was in a large container than in a medium-size one – even if the popcorn was five days old and stale! The smaller the dish, the less you take and the less you eat.
If you’re at someone’s home, try to serve yourself instead of allowing your sister-in-law to heap your plate full.
Arrive a little late and make a grand entrance. More of the indulgent foods will be gone by then.
If you go to a restaurant, ask your server not to put bread on the table before hand. If it’s there, you’ll probably eat it. You can have bread anytime, leave more room for your favorite holiday foods instead.
Substitute cranberry sauce for gravy, which is usually high in fat and calories. Cranberry sauce is nutritious and loaded with antioxidants.
If you eat baked potatoes and yams, avoid toppings such as butter, cheese, bacon, and sour cream. If possible, substitute low-fat yogurt or nonfat sour cream.
Watch the alcohol, which is high in calories (almost 200 calories per ounce) and slows down your metabolism. Also, too much alcohol impairs judgment, so the more you drink, the more you’re likely to eat.
Close your eyes and savor the food periodically during the meal. You’ll consume fewer calories and experience more pleasure.
Have just a few bites of dessert. The first and last bites are always the best, anyway.
Take a walk after dinner. You don’t have to hike five miles. A stroll around the block is a good start. Walking not only buns calories, it also helps relieve bloating and prevent heartburn.