Dashing through the buffet table,
With a plate piled high with food,
My clothes are getting tighter,
This really isn’t good
One of the joys of the festive season is getting together with family and friends and generally with that comes lots and lots of food. If you find yourself eating more than socialising these tips may help you manage this season of overeating.
- Don’t arrive hungry
Eat a healthy snack before attending parties or dinners. Arriving hungry is a sure-fire way to overindulge. Try cottage cheese on a couple of crackers or a yoghurt or small tin of tuna on a couple of crackers or small serve of baked beans on one slice of toast.
Arrived hungry? There is still something you can do – drink a large glass of water before you eat or drink anything.
- Go for protein foods.
Protein is associated with great feeling of fullness after eating. Turkey, salmon, prawns, eggs, low fat cheese, yoghurt or vegetarian protein sources like baked beans, tofu, legumes.
- Pace yourself
Eat slowly, chew your food well and put your knife and fork down between bites. It takes time for the message that you have had enough to get from your stomach to your brain. So really savour every mouthful.
- Use smaller plates
Plate sizes have increased over the years and larger plate = larger helpings! Try using smaller plates to help manage your portion sizes. Empty space on a big plate can make you feel deprived but a small plate can be filled with less food and will be visually satisfying.
- Keep your distance
Position yourself away from the food – keep your back to the buffet table and sit further away. The Office Candy Dish experiment (I’m not making this up!) showed that closer and more visible the candy dish was the more chocolates were consumed.
- Chewing gum
While some people believe chewing gum decreases their appetite and tendency to snack, results from trials don’t necessarily support this. However when you are surrounded by temptation if you’re chewing gum you can’t also be having that second helping.
- Drink tall and thin
Choose tall thin glasses, not short wide ones and you are likely to pour or be poured smaller volumes. This can be especially useful for alcoholic drinks. In an experiment experienced bartenders poured about 20% more into short wide glasses than the tall thin ones. It’s the classic vertical-horizontal optical illusion.
- Manage the leftovers
Tis the season of abundance so we often over cater for ourselves and our guests. Have plastic containers on hand and get your guests to take some of the leftovers with them. If you still have loads of leftovers consider freezing them for a later date. Out of sight means you are less likely to overindulge – remember the Candy Dish experiment (Tip 5)
- Move your feet
Aim to walk 30 minutes every day, get that step count up. Not only will this help you burn some of those excess calories but it will get you away from the food and give you a head start on that New Year’s Resolution to be the healthiest you, you can be
Have a lovely festive season and all the best for a happy and healthy 2017