Holiday Eating Tips

Source: Asbury Park Press
Don’t skip meals. Don’t hold off eating lunch until the office potluck or party. While it may sound counter intuitive, continue to eat your sensible and satisfying breakfast and lunch. And if you’re headed to a Christmas party that night, a healthy snack will keep you from being ravenous when you’re facing the party buffet.
Bring a healthy dish. Many people will use holiday time to pull out all of the stops and make their most delectable dish, one that can also be laden with calories. Go against the grain and bringing a healthy option, like sliced pineapple dressed up with other attractive fruits like kiwi and grapes. For Hanukkah, try crispy potato latkes.
Use a smaller plate. Using a little plate helps curb eating in two ways. It works is a bit of an optical illusion, and a smaller plate will offer natural portion control because you can only put so much on the dish. Or skip the dish and use a napkin for the food you’ll be eating.
Fill up on fiber. Eat foods with fiber first: salad over other sides, fruit before desserts. It’ll take the edge off hunger, and fiber also absorbs water as it makes its way through the digestive track and gives you a fuller feeling.
Slow down. Take more time as you eat. Put down your fork and take sips of water after a few bites. It can take 20 minutes for your brain to get the message your stomach is full. Take a break before going for seconds.
Talk more to eat less. Take the emphasis off eating and more on socializing, Alter said. Focus more on the conversations with your co-workers, family and friends. You won’t be as tempted to eat all of the goodies at hand. People who are distracted while eating can also eat more. So avoid the snacks while reminiscinge.
Eat mindfully — when you are physically hungry, and stop when you are comfortably full. Wait 10 minutes before eating to decide if you are actually hungry. That’s how long it can take for a craving to peak and subside.
Signal the end of the meal. Can you brush your teeth after you eat? If not try, grab some sugarless gum or a mint. Any of those will signal to your body you’re done eating.

Courtesy of Caryn Alter, a registered dietitian with the Star and Barry Tobias Health Awareness Center at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township.

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