Enjoy Your Food But Eat Less

November 17, 2013 / Meridith Jones

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Photo credit: idealmagazine.co.uk

As the holidays near, so do our fears about weight gain during this festive season. Between family gatherings, parties with friends and office celebrations we encounter many opportunities to overindulge. However, holiday weight gain is not inevitable and you can still enjoy your favorite foods! Sound too good to be true? Follow these simple tips from MyPlate to make sure your health and happiness are intact come 2014. 

Take your time They say it takes your body 20 minutes to recognize that you’re full. Eat slowly and savor your food so that you don’t walk away from the Thanksgiving table stuffed like a turkey.

Use a smaller plate Heading to a holiday party? Hit the buffet with an appetizer size plate instead of a dinner plate. You can still sample your favorite foods, but will be limited by how much you can fit on your plate. Just don’t go back for seconds!

If you eat out, choose healthier options Eating out often means more fat and calories than when cooking at home. Luckily, many restaurants offer their nutrition information online. Check out the menu before arriving to make sure you choose a lighter selection. Or, share a favorite entrée with a friend!

Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way Cookies, cakes and candies seem to appear at every corner this time of year. Carry a piece of fruit for a naturally sweet treat. Baked apples and cinnamon are also delicious!

Choose to eat some foods more or less often During the holiday season, fill up on fruits and vegetables. Compared to other foods, fruits and vegetables offer fewer calories and more nutrition. Filling your stomach with healthy foods will stave off hunger and make it easier to avoid holiday treats. You might also cut out an afternoon snack to save for a holiday event.

Sip smarter Who doesn’t love a peppermint mocha or pumpkin latte? However, these tasty beverages are often filled with sugar and are high in empty calories. Limit these drinks and reach for water and other calorie-free beverages when you are thirsty. Hot tea is a great cold weather drink as well!

Compare foods Trying to decide between the pumpkin and pecan pie? Visit SuperTracker to look up and compare nutrition information for more than 8,000 foods. Out and about? There are also a number of apps that can help you make an informed decision.

Make treats “treats,” not everyday foods Treats are meant to be an occasional indulgence, not an everyday food. Limit treats to special occasions. Enjoy your favorite holiday food on the day of, but not before or after. This way you can still enjoy your food but will eat less. Do you have a favorite tip to stay healthy during the holiday season?

Category: USDA