Every year around the holiday season, I read articles about the best ways to fight holiday weight gain. They all have tips about eating before you go, bringing a healthy dish to share or making exercise a priority. These are all great tips! In fact, I recommend them.
However, this year I want you to try something a little different. Instead of focusing on all of the stuff you shouldn’t have, go back for seconds! Let me explain…
Typically at holiday dinners, we build one enormous plate of food. It is piled high in a way that defies gravity and, if broken apart, could most likely feed a family of four. Then we sit down and eat the whole thing. Regardless of whether we like it or are even still hungry, we eat every last bite simply because it’s there. You can blame the clean plate club, or starving children in [insert country], or the belief that starting tomorrow we may never see turkey and mashed potatoes again. Whatever the reason, the end result is eating until we are sick and starting the New Year feeling bloated and disappointed.
This year, I want you to grab a very small amount of everything during the first go-around. It may seem silly or look funny in comparison to the leaning tower of latkes on your family member’s plate, but don’t worry! This isn’t the end of your meal. After you finish that plate, go back for seconds and grab your absolute favorites. When you are done, if you are still hungry, go back for thirds. You can go back as many times as you would like as long as you are still legitimately hungry.
What you will find is that, even with all the trips, you end up eating less than you would have with one giant plate. You also give your body a little time to register that it’s full so you don’t finish your delicious meal with antacids.
So, at that next big holiday feast, don’t be afraid of seconds – plan for them. This simple step will allow you to enjoy every bit of the holidays without spending the first quarter of 2013 making up for it.
And remember, a few small steps can lead to big changes.
Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.