A bit later than I expected to get started but I don’t want to miss a post! I put out a message asking for a request today and the request was for how to handle holiday eating.
On Thanksgiving I posted about my philosophy of holiday eating in general which is: enjoy the DAY. Make it a special occasion, expect to eat more than usual, eat all the things you LOVE and don’t deprive yourself (with in reason). Holidays should be treated as feast days and celebrated. It’s not a day to live on celery sticks. (Really Monday should be spent eating celery sticks but I digress…)
Today I’ll touch on a couple of ideas for helping to pace yourself and then how to get back on the wagon the following day.
First, note that I said to celebrate the DAY, not the WEEK. Thanksgiving is one day. So is Christmas, your birthday, Easter, etc. Don’t let your celebration turn into an everlasting feast. In fact, I’d argue that in keeping your feast days sacred you will enjoy them more because they are special. Case in point: I used to love Creme brûlée. It was something I’d order in a restaurant on a special occasion and I was always excited for the rare occasion I’d get to eat it. It was delicious. Then I was diagnosed with celiac disease and when the dessert tray came around the only dessert that was gluten free always seems to be Creme brûlée. Well let me say that when your only dessert option is always Creme brûlée it stops being special. The same principle is at work with everyone’s diet. If you eat it all the time it ceases to be special so keep your special treats rare and savor them!
Next, make sure you stay hydrated. I recommend starting every day with a glass of water, maybe with lemon. Continue drinking fluids for a total of 64 Oz per day at minimum, more if you exercise and when you are dining out or eating foods that are high in sodium as is likely on a holiday or special eating day. You need to flush the extra sodium and waste products out via your kidneys and water is the way to do it. If you are drinking alcohol, drink at least one full glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage. Try sipping herbal tea after your meals to aid digestion and get more fluid intake as well. Your body can mistake thirst for hunger and you end up overeating when really you just need a glass of H2O.
Third, try using a smaller plate. Take a spoonful of the foods you want to eat and savor each bite. Our dinner plates today are huge! Don’t buy dinner plates that are larger than 10 inches. Trick your mind into thinking you ate more than you did. If you eat slowly and you are still hungry then have a second helping. There should be no reason for thirds. Don’t even consider it an option.
The fourth thing builds on the third and that is to taste your food! Cut food into small pieces, chew them slowly and notice the flavors. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to register with your brain that it is full so give it time by slowing down. Eating isn’t a race. Chewing also helps digestion and time will help with satiety. You get the most pleasure from the first couple of bites of any food so make them count!
How to get back on the horse the next day: just get on. Plan it out. Start your day with a glass of water, some black coffee or tea and wait until you feel hungry to eat. Then start eating your healthy diet again. You should also keep up the extra fluids for a day or two to flush out the extra sodium and whatever you do, don’t weigh yourself for at least a week! That’s just asking for punishment!!
I know I mention tea all the time but I also find sparkling water a great craving buster. Black coffee is good too. If you aren’t fasting, bone broth/stock is a good option. Throw in some veggies, leeks are especially good in beef broth. Mmmmm now I want leeks…
Vegetable soup is a great way to use up leftovers and make a lower calorie meal. It’s a great snack and craving buster if seasoned well.
Consider having a day of meal replacement shakes. I use Arbonne protein shakes for this on occasion. Protein shakes are also helpful when you are traveling and might not have great options. You don’t want to follow up a holiday eating spree with fast food burgers and fries 🍟!
Green apples! I love green apples! They are super refreshing and not as sweet. An excellent snack any day but especially post holiday binge is a sliced green apple with a tablespoon of almond butter. Eaten whole they’re a great portable snack that can help with the need to crunch on something that isn’t celery. Sorry celery, you’re just usually not my jam (unless I’m eating buffalo wings and blue cheese!).
Do you have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them! Personally I’m adding leeks to my shopping list this week and will be enjoying them braised in beef broth and sprinkled with Asiago. So delicious!
See you tomorrow night!!