The holiday season is here. This means family gatherings and large meals. If you are trying to watch your weight and want to avoid the dreaded weight gain often associated with winter and the season, holiday feasting can threaten your dieting plans. Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid packing on the holiday pounds.
Learn how to fool your brain into thinking you have had more calories and other ways to keep yourself from gaining weight during the holidays.
What A Study Proves
If you do not believe that you have the power to fool your brain, then you only have to look at some of the most recent researches. Keep in mind that the following study was only conducted on a single family, but it does showcase how easy it can be to limit your intake during a holiday meal.
A single family was divided into two groups during a holiday dinner. One group was placed at a table with easy reach to all of the most fattening foods. The second group was placed at a table away from the food and had to get up, pass by a buffet full of healthy vegetables and salads, before reaching the main dishes.
The first group, that had easy access to the main dishes, tended to eat more and fill up on the carbs and fatty foods that were placed in front of them. The group that had to get up consumed less food. They filled their stomachs with a selection of healthy green vegetables and salads before reaching the main dishes and the more fattening foods.
This is a basic example of how you can plan your holiday meal differently to limit the amount of food that you eat. In addition to setting up a buffet with a selection of healthy foods, here are some other ways that you can trick your brain into thinking that you are full.
1. Use Smaller Utensils And Plates
The first trick that you can try is to use smaller utensils and plates. This makes it a lot easier to control your portion sizes. You will be forced to limit the number of items you put on your plate and scoop smaller portions. Using a smaller spoon or fork can also help you take smaller bites, requiring you to take your time to eat.
2. Sit Away From The Food
Depending on the way food is served at the holiday dinner or party you are attending, you should try to sit as far away from the food as possible. The phrase, “out of sight, out of mind”, applies to avoiding food cravings.
Along with helping you not to think about the food, sitting further away will require you to get up and walk over to the food. Studies show that having to get up for additional servings will limit the number of servings you get. When you are sitting at a table, it is easy to continue scooping additional helpings, without thinking about how much you are eating.
3. Limit Your Options
If you are in charge of planning a large family dinner or holiday party, limit the available dessert options. Research reveals that when you are presented with a variety of options, you are more likely to try a little of everything. Instead of purchasing three different types of cookies, stick to one type.
4. Chew Slowly
Slowing down your eating can help you trick your brain into thinking you are full. Pay attention to every bit you take and slowly chew your food. Only swallow the food once it has been thoroughly chewed. It can take your brain up to fifteen minutes to recognize the food you have eaten, so take your time and give your brain a chance to catch up.
5. Get Rid of Distractions
Studies have found that people tend to eat more when they are distracted by the television, phones, and games. When you eat a family meal, sit at the dinner table with the television turned off and all phones put away.
6. Choose Quality Foods Over Junk Foods
If you have a choice of a wide spread of foods, always choose to eat more greens and fruits first, to be filled up for less-fattening foods, and also for better digestion. Put on your plate, foods that are prepared without cheese or heavy food dressings (unless you know that they are prepared by a health-conscious host).
If you have a choice of beverages, always avoid carbonated and sugary drinks. Opt for fresh juices whenever you can.
While most distractions can lead to additional eating, talking with other people does the opposite. When you are actively engaged in conversation, you are more likely to take your time with the food on your plate.
Keep these tips in mind, if you want to avoid packing on a few extra pounds this holiday season.