1. Do not skip meals: While it may seem backwards that we need to eat to prevent weight gain, research shows that those who have a regular meal pattern tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day. In preparation for a big holiday party or feast, do not skip meals throughout the day as this may result in excessive hunger and overeating.
2. Use MyPlate for Menu Planning: Using MyPlate for planning your holiday menus will ensure that you are controlling calories, including good fiber and covering all the important vitamins and minerals. This just goes to show that menu planning doesn’t have to be complicated to be healthy.
3. Be aware of the calories in your beverages: One might think that since they do not fill us up, they don’t contribute calories to our day… wrong! Beverages can be a very high source of calories if we are not paying attention. Use this as a way to reduce your calorie intake and consuming only calorie-free beverages this holiday season.
4. Give yourself permission to eat the foods you like: You may ask, “Won’t this only lead to reduced self-control and more weight gain”? Actually, no it won’t. Research shows that when we put labels on our foods that dictate what we “can” and “cannot” have, we actually make those foods more enticing. Instead of punishing yourself this holiday season, choose to enjoy the foods you like in a savoring, mindful manner. This will allow you to have your cake (or pie) and eat it too!
5. Eat slowly and savor your food: Don’t be too quick to scarf down your food; learn to savor every bite. Using all your senses will help you not only to more thoroughly enjoy your food but also take you longer to eat it.
6. Get out and move: Food is only half the equation; the other part of equation is physical activity. So, resist the urge to go into a food coma and plan some fun family activities that will get you out and burn off some calories.
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