We all know it’s difficult to keep from overeating during the holidays, or anytime for that matter. Of course we now why we should eat: to give our bodies the nutrition and energy we need to get through the day, to keep us health and prevent illness. Our problem is, we eat when we shouldn’t be eating and then we eat far too much.
Here are some times we eat when we shouldn’t be:
Snacking just before or after a meal
When you are stressed
When you are upset
When you are bored
If you are going to a party or holiday event and you don’t want to make a pig of yourself at the party, eat something before you go. This doesn’t mean eat a full meal, just a filling snack such as a banana and some peanut butter or an apple. This will make you feel full while only giving you a few calories. You won’t feel as hungry, therefore, you will not eat as much.
If you are feeling stressed, especially during the holidays, instead of eating something, try going for a brisk walk. Give yourself a 15-20 minute walk and drink plenty of water. This will usually take away the urge to eat.
You may be one of those people who, while on a diet, you feel like you can’t have the things you crave, for me, it is chocolate. I have a difficult time preventing myself from splurging on it. I could eat a pound of chocolate and live blissfully during the moment. But, now, I realize the bliss is short-lived. I have found a way to enjoy my chocolate without over-doing it. I put the chocolate in the freezer. Not only does it make it difficult to bite through the chocolate, it slows you down and gives you a chance to think clearly. (I do seem to have a difficult time thinking clearly in the presence of chocolate!) What I do is, I remove only one piece of chocolate from the freezer when I feel a chocolate attack coming on and I leave the kitchen with it and get comfortable on the sofa. (If I’m comfortable, I’m less likely to want to make another trip to the fridge.) I slowly enjoy my piece of chocolate and usually, one piece will satisfy my craving. It’s that simple. One piece a day is what I allow myself except in the case of extreme emergency: for example, a huge argument with hubby. That’s when I consider it medication!
Another idea to help prevent overeating, is to eat on a regular schedule. This will keep you from getting too hungry and will help you stay in control of what and how much you are eating. You should eat something every three to four hours. If necessary, you can grab a healthy, low fat snack if you are not able to eat a meal at that time. It is better to eat several mini meals than to skip a meal and be ravenous later, causing you to overeat.
You can also plan ahead. If you plan what you will eat and portion it out, you will have even greater control over what is going into your mouth. You can’t eat more than you prepare, so if you prepare only serving sizes, then a serving size is all you will eat. If you are lazy, like me, eating in front of the television can actually be helpful, also. If you prepare your plate and sit comfortably in front of the TV, you will be less likely to get up and go back to the kitchen for another plate full. If after you finish your healthy, portion-controlled dinner you still feel hungry, grab a glass of water and wait 20 minutes. If you are still hungry, get a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit or chopped veggies.
My own experience