...and other tips to minimize mealtime catastrophes
Big picture planning is important, but planning for the actual event is equally important. Whether you have chosen the meal to be an indulgence or not, staying in control of your choices and managing portion sizes is critical.
Going with an empty stomach to an event with all of your favorites foods on offer almost guarantees overeating. Having a protein-based snack or small meal before an event helps cut hunger allowing you to choose wisely.
Making sure you get enough fluids can be hard to remember when you are on the run. Most of us should aim for two to three liters of fluid per day (more if you exercise). Many times the body mistakes hunger for thirst. So keeping hydrated can help decrease appetite if your body is actually looking for water and not calories. Drinking water can also promote satiation because it travels through the system quickly, stretches the stomach and sends a message to the brain that you are full. Having a glass of water prior to eating may help you eat less.
Think Before You Drink
Cocktails go hand-in-hand with holiday parties, but try not to overdo it. A great tip for cutting excessive calories is to substitute soda water for sugary mixers. Another strategy is to alternate each alcoholic drink with soda water. This helps keep you hydrated and as a bonus helps prevent hangovers the next day!
Enjoy Yourself, And If Necessary, Forgive Yourself
Try not to stress out about everything that you do over the holidays. Think ahead and do your best to make reasonable choices. If you go off-track or eat too much in one meal, don’t be tempted to throw in the towel. It’s one meal. Instead of focusing on the day’s lapse, take a look at the bigger picture. Find your underlying motivation and refocus on that. Instead of beating yourself up, remind yourself that you are not the only person who has ever experienced a setback. The next meal is your next opportunity to make a better decision.
Quick Home Workout
Don't have time to get to the gym? Here's a quick 20 minute work out. Do the entire set of exercises below. Then, rest 1-2 minutes between sets. Repeat set 2-3 times.
30 Jumping Jacks/Star Jumps
20 Bodyweight Squats
10 Walking Lunges (each leg)
50 High Knees