Why do we over eat around the holidays? That’s simple! There’s an abundance of tasty treats and delicious dishes just hanging around begging to sampled, tasted, tested, and gobbled up.
I remember when I worked in an office. Good gracious, the conference room, the break room, the kitchen, they were all a veritable buffet of things I really shouldn’t have been eating. But boy did I eat them, and boy did I gain weight around the holidays. Weight that never seemed to leave me once the honeymoon of the holidays was over and the New Year rolled around. And like everyone else, I made that same New Year’s resolution: Lose Weight.
It’s not any better now that I work at home. I don’t have the break room temptations, but I do have my kitchen, just 10 feet away. A kitchen that will be filled with traditional holiday fare for the next 6 weeks! Turkey and dressing and sweet potatoes and pies and cookies and candy and, well, you know.
The key to keeping your weight in check around the holidays is to avoid overindulgence. Wow! That was so simple to type out, but actually living that statement is a whole ‘nother ball of cheese, um, I mean wax. Even the healthiest of meals can become a trap if you sample as you go. A little bite of this, a lick of the bowl, a taste of that. Every BLT (Bite, Lick & Taste) adds up and equals points, if you’re on Weight Watchers, or just plain extra calories and fat, which translates into extra pounds.
The sampling isn’t the only problem. It also portion sizes that can get you in a serious heap of mashed potatoes, I mean trouble. I know I’m guilty of piling my plate too high. The issue I have is there are so many side dishes that I don’t see year ’round. Sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and dressing, oh the dressing. When you get a serving of each dish, plus your turkey, and then a roll or two, then you top it off with pie that has extra whipped cream on it, you end up over-stuffed, kinda like Tom (the turkey. Am I the only one who calls him that?). And then what do you do? You roll out of your chair and over to the couch. Or are you one of those crazy gals that washes dishes and cleans the kitchen up right away? Either way, whether you’re lying prone or washing dishes, you’re not going to burn all of those extra calories or points. No, they’re going to take up residence on your hips.
So here’s what I want you to do, or actually don’t. Don’t sample. You know it’s going to be good and you don’t really need to taste it to verify the fact. You’ve made those dishes before, or if you haven’t, just follow the recipe and it will be fine! I promise! Don’t pile your plate high. Decide ahead of time which side dishes you really, really want and which ones you can live without. Put a small spoonful of each dish on your plate, grab some turkey and avoid the rolls. You want to save room for dessert right? Heck yeah, have some dessert! It is Thanksgiving afterall. Just don’t eat 1/2 the pie. Cut the pie in quarters and then cut the quarter into 4 pieces and have one of those slivers. That’s it.
When it’s all said and done, make yourself a plate of leftovers. A small plate. Then send some home with each of your guests or drop in on a friend that’s home alone for the holidays. Maybe you have an elderly neighbor with no family nearby. Trust me, they’ll appreciate that meal and your hips will thank you for it.
Now that you’ve gotten through Thanksgiving without gaining 5 pounds, it’s time to tackle the holiday baking and all the wonderful food surrounding Christmas. All the same rules apply. Don’t deny yourself a little treat here and there, but for pete’s sake, be reasonable and be accountable!!