Holidays don’t have to equal weight gain

It is possible to maintain your weight with all the holiday eating opportunities.

The holiday season doesn’t automatically equal weight gain – nor is it an excuse for weight gain! We can enjoy the various gatherings, without being handed a copy of the dietary guidelines to keep us honest! From family celebrations to staff parties, keep these tips from Michigan State University Extension in mind.

  1.  Keep food in a central location. If food can be found in every nook and cranny, someone will eat it. Give party-goers the option of not having to fight temptation at every turn.
  2. When setting up a buffet or having a sit-down celebration, offer low calorie choices first, such as soup (not creamed) and salad. Guests will be less hungry when it’s time to eat the main, and usually higher calorie dish.
  3. Lower the lights and the music – really? According to Psychological Reports, both these factors can decrease how much we eat by as much as 18 percent. Soft lights and music also set a relaxed, stress free atmosphere for party-goers.
  4. If you serve using a smaller bowl, less will be consumed. Don’t forget the size of the spoon matters also. You can always replenish dishes, but if people think this is it, they may take smaller, more appropriate portions.
  5. Using tall skinny glasses instead of the short squatty ones can reduce the number of calories in each mixed drink.
  6. Get a good night’s sleep before attending or hosting a party, it seems the more tired we are the more we crave calorie rich foods.
  7. Use smaller plates if you are hosting a party. If you are attending a party and smaller plates are not available, plan ahead by vowing to only fill half your plate. Don’t forget the age-old trick of drinking water before eating for a full feeling.
  8. Nibble and sip from your plate and drink. The slower you consume your plate, the less you tend to crave.

The food we love to prepare and eat during the holidays are part of the traditions we cherish. you’ll enjoy this food-laden season more if you aren’t constantly worried about putting on extra pounds. Maybe getting rid of excess weight won’t need to go on a New Year’s resolution list this year!

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