Humans like to think of ourselves as fully rational beings to make logical decisions all the time – but in reality, our subconscious, emotional brain is far more powerful that our conscious brain will ever be. And that brain wants chocolate. Now. Get tricky and don’t wake up in January with a hangover… of flesh, that is, over your waste band. Outsmart yourself and stay slim with these healthy eating tips for the holidays.
Relying on willpower alone isn’t always enough to combat the mountains of decadent sweets, ooey-gooey casseroles, and cheese-stuffed bacon-wrapped appetizers that you’ll encounter over the holiday season. Recent studies show that willpower is like a muscle that wears out with overuse – and you’ll probably hit that wall around the first week of December. Instead, you’re going to have to fool yourself.
7 Healthy Eating Tips
- Eat smaller pieces of food to trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating more. You’ll feel more satisfied with three small pieces of pizza than you will with one big piece – even if you’re eating the same exact amount of pizza either way. Your brain still counts the pieces separately, so slice that pizza thin.
- Make the Christmas buffet your b*tch. Before you ever get started, peruse the entire spread. You don’t want to wind up with half a plate of mashed potatoes before you ever see the lobster, crab, and prime rib. Choose a table that’s far away from the buffet, and sit with your back to the food. When it comes to healthy eating tips, out of sight, out of mind really works!
- Carry a clutch to a holiday party. Juggling a purse, a cocktail and a plate of food is quite a feat for anyone. It carries with it the potential for disaster and social embarrassment, which will make you much more choosy about the food that you’ll chance a clumsy spill for. Feel like upping the ante? Wear a white dress.
- When you dine at home, use a smaller plate. Giant plates the size of serving platters are now the norm for many families. With a larger plate, it’s easy to fill it up – and clean it proudly, just like Mom told you to. Instead, choose a salad plate to help keep your portion size in check.
- When cravings hit, make yourself a deal. Tell yourself that you’ll have that sugar cookie or piece of cherry pie in 15 minutes if you still want it. Now drink a glass of water, and go do something else. Set a timer so you aren’t watching the clock. When it dings in 15 minutes, reexamine your craving. If it’s still there and stronger than ever, stop everything and savor the indulgence. But more likely, you’ll already be over it. In fact, you might have just been thirsty.
- Serve meals buffet style instead of family style. When all those dishes of delicious food are right in front of you on the table with the spoon handles pointed right at you, it’s tempting to take another serving. Or two. But if you have to actually get up from the table for a second helping, you’re far less likely to do so. One of the best healthy eating tips is to use your inherent human laziness to your advantage.
- Avoid late-night snacks. Are you a late-night nibble queen? You’re not alone. In the evening, we are often tired, bored, and/or lonely – and food is a popular way to fill the void. Chances are, you’re not craving fresh kale salad. Ward off the nightly nibbling by flossing, brushing your teeth, and rinsing with mouthwash right after dinner. Sure, you can still cave in and have a snack, but you’ll have to go through that whole routine again. You’ll be more likely to skip it.
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