Portion Control at the Holidays: Will you succeed?

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro December 12, 2011
  • During the holidays it can be difficult to control how much we eat. When you attend gatherings with friends and there are all these new dishes you oftentimes want to sample some of everything. Then there are the desserts. . .how can you pass up on all these home cooked goodies?

     

    It's not easy, but it's not impossible to stay on track. Let's review some tips so you can avoid going overboard on portions:

     

    1. Have a snack before attending a holiday party.

     

    If you are going to be attending a holiday party it's to not go on an empty stomach or work hungry. This will lead you to overeat on especially rich foods. Instead, go ahead and have a snack ahead of time, such as a piece of fruit or small handful of nuts.

     

    2. Don't eat in front of the TV.

     

    There's a good chance you'll be tuning in to watch a few ball games over the holidays. Make yourself a rule not to eat while watching TV. You are not focused on the food and mindlessly consuming. . .not necessarily enjoying and appreciating what goes in.

     

    3. Downsize your plate.

     

    If you have the option, grab a smaller size plate before going through the buffet line or sitting down at the table. This way there is physically less room for extra large portions, but to the eye it still looks like you are enjoying a substantial meal.

     

    4. Take time to socialize with family and friends.

     

    The holidays are a time to catch up with family and friends. Instead of being first in the buffet line or first to snag a chair at the table, stand back and take a few extra minutes to visit with those around you. Carry on a conversation during your meal. Give yourself at least 20 minutes after eating to decide if you really need to go back for seconds.

     

    5. Move tempting foods out of sight.

     

    If you leave holiday desserts and candy within easy reach you are much more likely to indulge. Out of sight, out of mind - right? Keep tempting foods out of reach. If you host a party, wrap up leftovers and desserts to go home with guests, this way you are not left to finish eating what's left on your own.

    Use these five tips to keep yourself on track during the holidays this year, so you can start 2012 off on a good note.

     

    If you are working to lower cholesterol levels, you can access the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps at http://lowercholesterolwithlisa.com.