Having a healthy diet and getting enough exercise are important for staying at a healthy weight. However, many people find it difficult to resist temptation and remain committed to their weight loss goals. Having a healthy dinner is especially important as this is the most important meal of the day in terms of weight loss.
One of the most common challenges is overindulging when eating. Overeating is something that many people struggle with, especially during the holiday season. There are so many things that people enjoy about seasonal and holiday foods, such as eggnog, gingerbread cookies, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, red wine and much more. But in excess, these foods can have a negative impact on your health. If you’re trying to avoid overeating this holiday season or any time of year, here are some helpful tips.
Create a plan before you eat.
Before you start to eat, consider your portion sizes, which may vary depending on the type of food you’re consuming. For example, you’re likely to consume more calories with a piece of pumpkin pie than you will with a slice of pumpkin bread, even though both foods contain pumpkin. If you know that you have a big meal coming up, it may be helpful to eat a little more at your current meal in order to curb your hunger until the next meal. When eating a big meal, try to eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly, so that you can better digest the food and feel satisfied sooner.
Don’t shop when you’re hungry or hangry.
If you’re going to the grocery store after work, try to eat a healthy snack before going for the best results. If you go shopping hungry, you’re likely to buy more unhealthy foods than you would have otherwise. Additionally, you’re more likely to overeat once you get home. If you shop for groceries hungry, you may buy more food than you need, which may cause you to overeat the following day. If you’re getting cranky or easily irritated, those feelings may be a sign that you’re hungry. Before you go to the grocery store, eat a small but healthy snack, such as yogurt with berries, a peanut butter and banana sandwich, or a protein bar.
Be mindful when you eat.
When you eat, try to be as present as possible and pay attention to your portion sizes. Eat at a slower pace, so that you feel full and satisfied with less food, and you can better digest the food. If you’re eating with others, try to avoid eating quickly to fit in all of the food; otherwise, you may eat more than you need.
You may wish to write down what you ate for each meal or snack, so that you can track your food intake and make any necessary adjustments. You may also wish to take pictures of your meals before you start eating so that you can better pay attention to what you’re eating. By being more mindful of your eating habits, you may be able to reduce overeating and make healthier food choices
Don’t use food as a reward.
You may be tempted to eat more food if you’re rewarding yourself for a positive event. For example, you may eat more during the holidays if you are treating yourself to holiday foods as a reward for getting things done. However, you may want to avoid eating more as a reward because you will likely be eating more than you plan, and the food may not be as healthy as you wish. Instead of using food as a reward, try to find other ways to celebrate your accomplishments and reward yourself. If you have to reward yourself, make sure it’s something healthy, such as going for a walk or reading a book.
Drink water while eating and in between meals.
While you’re eating, you may want to drink water in between bites, so that you don’t feel too full and you can better digest your food. If you’re drinking water, you’re less likely to overeat and feel full faster. When choosing a beverage, choose water instead of something with calories, such as soda, juice, or sugary coffee drinks. If you want to add some flavor to your water, you can try lemon slices, lime slices, cucumber slices, or other fruit and vegetable slices. By drinking water while eating, you may feel less hungry, less bloated, and be able to better control your portion sizes.
Plan your own celebration meal.
Instead of eating more at the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, you may wish to have a smaller meal earlier in the day, so that you have less room for additional food later in the day. You can plan a meal of your own, such as going out to a restaurant or making a meal at home. By eating a meal earlier in the day, you’ll be less hungry when the big meal comes around, so you may be able to better control what you eat.
Cut up veggies and put them on your holiday plate.
If you’re having a traditional holiday meal, you may want to include a serving or two of vegetables with each meal. Adding vegetables to your plate may help you feel full faster with less food, while still providing vital nutrients. If you want more vegetables but you don’t know how to add more to your meals, you can also juice vegetables to make vegetable juice. You can also add vegetables to your meals by putting them in your omelet, sandwich, or wrap.
By adding more vegetables to your diet, you may feel less hungry, less bloated, and be able to better control your portion sizes. By following these tips, you may be able to reduce overeating and make healthier food choices. If you’re trying to stay on track with your weight loss goals, these tips can help you stay on track during the holiday season and all year long.