Post Christmas and as a part of the year end festive, some of us may discover that a new wardrobe might come in order if the continue on the path of festive eating. The whole point of holidays is to have fun and enjoy. Yet the post-holiday guilt is disheartening and clings onto to our conscience, taunting us with every bite we take, unless we learn to numb it or have a back up plan in place to keep us still healthy and fit. There are a few tips and tricks that I plan to put into place before the guilt strikes with a fury.
Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork. ~English proverb
Remember the old dictum for healthy eating, eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a peasant. While it may be difficult putting this into daily practice, there are ways around it. For holidays try proportioning the meals as well as desserts; then we would be able to stick to the rule.
The key of having fun with food and controlling our portions is to experiment a bit as well as sit down to mindful eating. Even though you are alone for lunch or dinner, instead of mindless snacking or eating from the fridge, set the table for a meal for one and enjoy your food with plenty of light and proper cutlery. When the whole family is in, set the table and sit down for a proper meal.
While many of us hit the gym or workout during the week, instead of over indulging over the weekends, plan ahead for your weekend parties, trips and drives so as to downsize the calorie intake before the celebratory eating phase.
I definitely try to eat a healthy diet, but I am the first person to say I love unhealthy food. I would never tell you I don’t. I love fried chicken or mac and cheese. Do I order them all the time when I’m out at restaurants? No, though I do have one splurge meal a week. Rachel Nichols
Mix up the healthy and unhealthy foods. For instance try having fried chicken with one serving of rice or bread, adding some colour to the plate with greens or other vegetables. Another mix-up would be having the pizza homemade with a healthy topping of vegetables, meat as well as cheese but limit the portions. Enjoy the large serving of homemade desserts but then remove any added sugars ( especially in tea, coffee and juices) for the rest of the day, limit the remaining portion of carbohydrates and go more for protein and cellulose rich foods to feel full.
Mindless eating whether we are eating to finish off and not waste food, or even munching while talking nineteen to the dozen kills the taste of food and delight of eating. Instead sit down at a place and eat quietly. Even when in a group, occasional comments may be passed but mindless chatter ceases when we concentrate and eat. In this case I try to take a leaf from my toddler’s book of chewing. Ideally when we chew our dense foods thirty times, we discover that the little portion was enough.
Homemade fries, potato wedges and fried snacks are way better than always getting them delivered. Even though the holiday season is in full swing, try not to make too much.
If nature had intended our skeletons to be visible it would have put them on the outside of our bodies. Elmer Rice
When food is delivered, first lay them on your plate and then pack up the rest away. Once when we settle done to eat, the chances of getting up and adding on are slim when we have already packed away the extras.
With all the excess food delivered and leftovers from the party, outings or fellowship meets and neighbourhood dinners, distribute them among neighbours and friends or even better, donate them to the nearby orphanage, old age or retirement home or even the homeless shelters.
Instead of eating straight out of the containers or box, pre-portion your snacks and meals too, into small individual containers or bag them for a ready to eat snack.
Food feeds both the body and soul – there are clear reasons to eat a balanced diet, but there are also reasons you cling to your mom’s secret chicken noodle soup recipe when you’re sick. Michael Mina
Add spice to food when possible, for spicy food tends to make us feel full faster. Another trick that I had read and tried was to stock some red pepper flakes. When eaten early in the day, red pepper can reduce the amount of food you consumer later.
If you remember the good old saying, “Good things come in small packages”, then apply them to food and treats as well.
For those of us who love our desserts, enjoy the decadent delights in bite sizes savouring the taste and not eating in a hurry, or when doing any other work or in front of any entertainment. When we focus on the taste and flavour we realize that the little portion was enough.
If hunger is not the problem, then eating is not the solution. Author unknown
Most importantly stay active, enjoy your food without guilt and engage in the pleasure as well as mindful eating even if they are comfort foods. A little of everything never hurts but the catch is in our definition of the extent of “little”. When we decide to eat because we are hungry is not the same when we eat for the sake of it. Being on the top of the food chain, gives us the right to decide from the pyramid of choices, but it doesn’t mean that we have to end up being a large hamper ourselves.