What to Do If You Dread Holiday Calories
By Sandy Schroeder
As the holidays roll through the end of the year, most of us would like to skip some of the calories. The Calorie Control Council says holiday dinners typically run to 3,000 calories or more. That is a whole day's worth of calories loaded into one meal. No wonder we add pounds.
Prevention has a few suggestions for survival.
Fix one plate and stick with it - When you circle a holiday table, pick a few items that you like and assemble your plate. Then find a place to sit and enjoy the party, limiting yourself to that one plate. Repeat trips and nibbling throughout a party can easily inflate the calories.
Do some advance prep - Never arrive starving at a holiday party. The temptation and the calories will be overwhelming. Have a normal breakfast and light lunch, and eat a high protein snack such as cottage cheese, Greek yogurt or a boiled egg just before the party.
Slow down - Holiday parties can easily pick up speed. Pace yourself with drinks and food. Take time to talk with old friends and the host before you head to the holiday table. Then find a spot to sit down with friends and talk as you eat. You will enjoy the party a lot more, and consume less calories.
Don't clean your plate - Feel free to try your host's creations without having to eat every bite. Nibbling is completely acceptable at holiday parties.
Opt for green and yellow light foods first - Veggies and fruits come first with pickles, cucumbers and sushi leading the way. Go slowly with drinks, cheese, sweets and thick rich sauces.
Wear something that makes you feel trim - Psychologically it helps to feel you are on the right diet wave to start with when you are confronted with a table full of goodies. One of the weight experts often says, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels."
Reach for wine instead of a cocktail - There are seven calories per gram in alcohol, which adds up very fast in a mixed drink or cocktail. A cocktail might have 250 calories while the same amount of Merlot is about 120 calories.
Go ahead and have fun - Leave some room for an extra cookie or two. Holiday parties will soon be gone and you can get back to a mindful diet then. Beating yourself up over small indulgences won't make the calories go away or help your future calorie efforts.
Time your entrances and exits - If you arrive first and stay for the whole party you are bound to consume more calories. Arrive when the party is rolling and leave before it begins to dwindle. You will enjoy the food, see friends and hopefully hold the calories down.
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