Moderating portion sizes during the holidays can be a key strategy for maintaining a balanced and healthy approach to eating. Here are some practical tips to help you do just that!
- Start with a Small Plate: Opt for a smaller plate to help control your portion sizes. Research suggests that using smaller plates can lead to smaller food portions.
- Fill Half Your Plate with Veggies: Low in calories and high in fiber, veggies can help you feel full and satisfied, so load up!. Aim for a variety of colors and types.
- Practice Mindful Eating: Pay close attention to and enjoy what you’re eating. Take your time to savor each bite, and put your fork down between bites. This can help you slow down your eating so you recognize when you’re full.
- Use Your Hand as a Guide: Did you know that a simple way to estimate portion sizes is to use your hand? For example, a serving of protein should be about the size of your palm, while a serving of carbs should be about the size of your fist. Try it out!
- Be Mindful of High-Calorie Foods: Be aware of foods that are particularly calorie-dense, like desserts, creamy sauces, and fried foods. Enjoy them in moderation and balance them with lighter options like veggies, salad and lean protein.
- Avoid Grazing: Instead of continuously snacking throughout the day, try to stick to regular meal times. This can help regulate your blood sugar and prevent overeating.
- Stay Hydrated: Sometimes, our bodies confuse thirst with hunger. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated, and consider having a glass before meals to help you feel fuller.
- Plan Ahead: If you know you’ll be attending a holiday gathering with lots of tempting treats, consider eating a balanced, nutritious meal before you go. This can help curb your appetite.
- Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Stop eating when you feel satisfied, even if there’s food left on your plate.
- Avoid Second Helpings: If you’re still hungry after finishing your plate, wait a few minutes to see if you’re still hungry before going back for seconds.
- Share Desserts or Treats: If you want to indulge in a dessert, consider sharing it with someone. This way, you can still enjoy the treat without overindulging.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol is high in empty calories. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation and try having a glass of water between drinks.
- Stay Active: Incorporate physical activity into your holiday routine. Organize a family hike or a post-meal football game. This can help balance out any extra calories you consume and keep your metabolism active.
- Practice Portion Control at Home: Even when you’re not at a holiday gathering, it’s important to maintain portion control. Use measuring cups or a food scale to help you understand what appropriate portions look like.
Remember, it’s normal to enjoy special holiday foods, and occasional indulgence is part of a balanced approach to eating. The goal is to find a balance that is sustainable and allows you to enjoy the holidays without feeling deprived or overdoing it.
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