The holidays are usually a time of celebration with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers but it’s also a time when even the healthiest and most balanced diets can be offset unintentionally by seasonal seductions. The pastries are fluffier, the gravies are richer, and the meats are more plentiful. It’s a dieter’s worst enemy but a tastebud’s favorite time of the year as we commonly celebrate around food.
Over the next few weeks I’ll share some very valuable #HealthyLiving survival tools and tips to keep you heart healthy over the holidays. We’ll talk about your overall health and break things down to get the mind, body and soul aligned.
But first, the holidays are upon us so let’s start with some basic holiday eating etiquette and table tenets to keep you living healthy. Here are 5 simple table tenets to start with…
1. Never eat until you’re full.
It takes the stomach about 20 minutes to send messages to the brain to tell you you’re full. Eat to nourish your body. Don’t drown your taste buds. This is definitely a case when more is not better. Tip: Listen to music while you eat instead of watching TV. People tend to get distracted and eat more while watching television.
2. Balance the sweetness on the table.
For Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, it’s OK to have your favorites but keep it balanced. While enjoying some of your favorite holiday foods make sure to offset it with an unsweetened beverage, preferably water. Tip: Drink a glass of water 15 minutes before mealtime. You’ll eat less because you’ll feel full.
3. Wait a second to have seconds.
Don’t be a premature repeat offender. Before you grab seconds wait several minutes to give your stomach a chance to catch up and for you to think about it. And IF you do have a second helping, it should never be more than ½ the amount of the first serving and definitely no thirds allowed.
4. Snack before meals.
Despite your good home training, to prevent indulging at holiday parties, have a healthy snack before meals so you don’t go overboard on sweets, treats or drinks. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence not only adds weight but stress and guilt as well.
5. Never scrape the plate.
Remember all those starving children in other countries that your mother always spoke about? It was mom’s favorite incentive for forcing you to keep shoveling food in until every morsel disappeared. Result: Years later, we’re still inhaling it all like human garbage disposals regardless of how full we’re feeling. In fact, many of us don’t even realize how full we’re getting as we’re eating. We use the clean plate as the litmus test to tell us that we’re satisfied rather than tuning in to our own bodies’ hunger and satiety cues.