Hey Aztecs! Did you know that most people gain 1-2 pounds just from the time between Thanksgiving and New Years? Here are 5 easy tips you can put into action to help you control over consumption while maintaining full satisfaction from all that crazy-good holiday food.
- Protein and Fiber – Put those on your plate first
- Foods high in protein and fiber are the most satiable. Making them a priority in your food choices can help you eat less overall and prevent overeating. Foods high in protein and fiber are more micronutrient dense, have fewer calories, and add volume to your meal, while still tasting great! They will also keep you full longer, helping you cut down on post-meal snacks.
- Smaller Portions at a time – Eat less while keeping food volume the same
- You will eat less if you have less on your plate, while feeling just as satisfied. Tricking your mind into thinking you have just as much food on your plate by keeping the volume of food the same, but adding in foods that are less calorically dense (fruits, vegetables, etc.) on each plate will allow you to actually eat less without losing fullness.
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Reduce temptations to snack unnecessarily
- If food is easy to eat, it is easy to overeat. Avoid having food within arms reach or in your vision on a regular basis, and cover up your food to avoid temptations to snack unnecessarily. The more effort involved in eating, the less likely you are to overeat.
- Continue Staying Active – Keep your exercise regimen consistent throughout the holiday season
- Exercising releases hormones that will help you stay in control, calm, and confident. Not to mention, it burns calories, increases metabolism, and strengthens your mind and body. Whether you are at the gym, at the park, or in the privacy of your own room, there are plenty of exercise options you have regardless of equipment, time, and fitness level. During the holidays, try incorporating your friends and family into fun group exercises like a pre-meal flag football game, a post-meal walk, or a YouTube workout session.
- Set Realistic expectations – Don’t give up
- Let’s face it, it may be impossible to completely avoid overeating throughout the holidays. Setting too high of an expectation for any goal is a recipe for disaster, and in this case will result in succumbing to cravings. Enjoy the food and company while always keeping a positive mindset. If you find yourself overindulging, don’t give up and let it define your eating habits. Remember, life is understood in the past but must be lived in the present, so learn from your mistakes and move on.
How are you working on keeping your holiday meals in check for the holidays? Let us know! #LiveWellAztecs
By: Jimmy Shiba, Graduate Health Promotion Intern, MPH Candidate