Avoid overeating this festive season – Here’s how.

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Let’s face it – this time of the year is often centred on food.

There are special dinners and get-togethers everywhere. This is the time of the year when we get to enjoy great food and we have a very good excuse to indulge! But overeating during holidays leave many people feeling guilty, especially when they notice that they have actually gained a few pounds.

Well, this is really not too bad as long as we are able to get back on track next year and work out those excess fats. But if you are still concerned about gaining weight this holiday season, I have a number of tips for you. It is certainly possible that you enjoy and indulge without overeating… and feeling guilty!

Spare your tummy for the foods you really enjoy.

Don’t eat cookies and junk foods just because they are sitting there or because others are enjoying them. Unless you really want them, spare your tummy for other foods – those that you really love to indulge in. And because it’s holiday season, there are going to be endless buffets featuring tantalising foods. Forget about the rest and simply focus on the foods you want.

Choose a red plate.

In 2012, a group of German and Swiss researchers found that people who are given meals served on a red plate reduced their food intake by as much as 40 per cent. According to them, the colour red may work like a subtle stop signal – like a red traffic light – telling them not to overeat.

Eat healthy most of the time.

If you can’t resist the calorie-dense junk foods served in parties and get-togethers, try as much as possible to eat healthy when you’re at home. Replace those bags of cookies with fresh produce like fruits and vegetables and take those fizzy drinks from your fridge and replace them with smoothie drinks and other healthy beverages. This way, you won’t feel guilty whenever you indulge in not-so-healthy meals at holiday parties.

Watch your portions.

It’s perfectly okay to get some of this and some of that, as long as you are keeping an eye on your food portions. A great strategy is to get bigger portions of the healthy stuff and small portions of the calorie-dense, unhealthy food choices. And don’t forget to watch over the calories you are consuming from beverages. Commercial juice varieties, as well as some beers and spirits are very high in calories. What’s more, they contain large amounts of sugar too.

Drink plenty of water.

A glass of water before mealtime can reduce your hunger pangs or food cravings, making you less likely to overeat. It also helps prevent indigestion, which is common during the holiday season.

Stock up healthy snacks.

If you are going out of town for a vacation, pick up a few healthy snacks just as you would get some bottled water. This will prevent you from indulging in unhealthy snacks along the way.

Don’t skip breakfast.

Just because you will be attending a lunch party doesn’t mean you should forego breakfast. Eating a healthy, fulfilling meal in the morning could save you from a calorie splurge later in the day. Opt for protein-filled foods like lean chicken, hard-boiled egg, a slice or two of brown bread, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Go easy at 6pm onwards.

Eating late on holidays is common. If you’re craving for pasta, rice and other calorie-dense meals, eat them at lunch. Enjoy fresh vegetable salad, sandwich and a glass of wine maybe for dinner.

Be alcohol savvy.

Alternate alcoholic drinks with water to avoid hangover and dehydration. You will also be reducing your calorie intake this way. Furthermore, try spirits with low-calorie mixers and don’t forget to “drink moderately”.

Drop the guilt.

It won’t help you with anything – it will just make you feel worse this holiday season. What’s more, new research from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand has found that people who felt guilty after overeating tend to gain more weight than those who didn’t feel guilty. The researchers emphasised that the diet controlling habit of guilt ridden-women gets abandoned once they are guilt ridden.

Hope you find these tips useful. Here’s wishing you a wonderful, delicious and fulfilling festive break!

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist

www.greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre

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