During the festive season, it is quite easy to lose all rationale and determination in the presence of fragrant-smelling delicacies, mouth-watering desserts, and well-meaning relatives urging you to take second and third helpings. So let’s forget about ‘eating selectively’ and ‘skipping dessert’. Instead, here are practical tips that would work for most people, even those who lack determination.
Eat before you visit.
Have a heavy breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having breakfast keeps you alert and energized throughout the day. Coming out with a satisfied stomach will also prevent you from over-eating to compensate an empty stomach.
Eat at normal speed.
If you enjoy good food, you would understand that chewing slowly allows you to drink in all the flavours of your meal. Take your time to savour your meal, only finishing up when it is time to go. Before you empty your plate, your host is less inclined to encourage you to take seconds.
Fill your plate with a little of everything.
Firstly, it is poor dining etiquette to take large quantities of your favorite food, leaving little left for your fellow guests. Taking a little of everything ensures that you are making the most out of your meal. As you sample each dish, your taste buds and brain will take their time to analyse their different tastes, and you will feel less inclined to eat more. Your eagle-eyed host will also cease the impulse to go “Why didn’t you take that? Don’t you like it?”, a moment of awkwardness that often results in the guest having to take multiple helpings of that dish to pacify him.
Use a smaller plate.
If you can choose your plate, get a smaller one. This will reduce your desire to eat more than you should. After all, it is embarrassing to keep reaching out for seconds.
Stay away from the food table.
What you don’t see, you don’t miss. After you have had your fill, engage in other activities. Remember that family visits should not just be about eating. Take some time to chat with your host and fellow guests. Bond with your young relatives and play with them, losing some calories as you chase them around.
Be more active.
Provide opportunities for yourself to move more, such as parking the car further away from your destination so that you can walk, climbing the stairs instead of taking the lift, going for a stroll after eating, or playing video games that require you to move about. This way, you would not feel the urgency to lose weight when the festive period is over.
Bearing these tips in mind and action will make that New Year resolution on getting fit and healthy easier to keep!
– This article first appeared in a lifestyle magazine