Managing Your Weight Amid Holiday Parties

Assorted Christmas cookies

Eggnog, Red Velvet Cheesecake, Nutella Cherry Hazelnut Fudge, Mexican Chocolate Cookies: the list of delicious delights that appear during the holidays is endless. So, there’s really no point in maintaining a weight-loss diet when you face a deluge of Christmas confections, right?

But there are a few out there who manage to maintain their figures throughout the entire season. Some would attribute this to luck or enormous willpower. But they also rely the following strategies to ensure that they don’t overindulge.

Keep it out of sight.
It’s easy enough to eat something sweet when you receive it as a gift or if it’s attractively displayed on a plate at the coffee table or in a bowl by the front door. Make it less convenient for you to grab a confection by keeping what’s delicious out of sight. If you receive sweets as a gift, don’t even unwrap them. Change the card, so you can re-gift them to someone else. If you don’t want to re-gift the sweets for fear of offending the giver, bring them to work and put them away from your desk, so others can enjoy them.

Hide unhealthy snacks in containers with opaque covers and store them deep in the pantry or in the back of the fridge. Keep healthy snacks, such as nuts or fruits, in clear containers that are in the front of the fridge or the pantry. When you’re hungry, you’ll tend to reach for the healthy stuff first because it’s closer and more visible.

Work for your food.
It’s time to change up the holiday meal where everyone sits around a large table with turkey, roast beef, corn bread, apple pie, and other fattening goodies right in front of you. Being able to reach easily for food can encourage overeating.

Serve the meal buffet style by leaving everything in the kitchen or putting the food on a separate table. Put a colorful centerpiece in the middle of your dining table as a decorative excuse. If you have a choice of tables, such as at a party with many guests, seat yourself as far away from the buffet area as you can. When you must get up and walk to fill up your plate, you’re less likely to do it, so you don’t go for as many servings and eat less.

When you return to the table, find a seat so that the view of the food is behind you. You won’t be tempted to grab more food just because you can see it.

Shrink the service.
Eat off a plate that is slightly smaller than the regular dinner plate. You’ll take less to begin with and what you do get will seem larger and more substantial. Use slightly undersized serving utensils as well, so you serve yourself smaller portions. One exception: use large tongs for the salad, so you get more than you expect. Filling up on salad makes it more likely that you’ll eat less of everything else.
Don’t make the plate too small, or you’ll feel deprived and get up for more servings. Eat with regularly sized utensils or you may feel frustrated at handling a small fork and spoon.

Want to know more about healthy eating in your own San Joaquin Valley home? Then contact us for more information or to set up a tour of our neighborhoods.

Lisa Walker