Holiday Survival Guide: 10 Tips to Avoid Overeating

Mashed potatoes, candied yams, pecan pie, and spirits! Culinary temptations abound over the holidays. Though occasional overe

Mashed potatoes, candied yams, pecan pie, and spirits! Culinary temptations abound over the holidays. Though occasional overeating is typically normal and harmless, an ongoing pattern can lead to feelings of shame and health problems such as diabetes and sleep apnea. Leading bariatric surgeon Dr. Chad Carlton, and his team of specialists at LoneStar Bariatrics in Frisco, Texas, offer the following holiday strategies to help keep your food intake reasonable.

1. Eating mindfully

Have you ever noticed how quickly your food seems to vanish when you eat in front of the TV? Taking your time to eat without plentiful distractions can enhance portion control. Known as mindful eating, this practice helps you stay in better touch with your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Pay attention to the flavors and textures of the food rather than your phone, laptop, or TV.

2. Offer to bring healthy dishes to parties

Chances are you’re not the only person at any given party on a mission to make healthier food choices. Offer to bring a nutritious dish to share, such as a protein appetizer like turkey meatballs, a veggie tray, or strawberries dipped in dark chocolate for a healthier dessert.

3. Stay well-hydrated

It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. By consuming plenty of fluids, you can keep your appetite in a better place, staving off needless munchies. Smart options include water, herbal tea, sugar-free drinks like PowerAde Zero, and broth-based soups.

4. Cut back on salty and sugary foods

Sweets and salty foods can fit within a healthy diet, but they’re easy to overeat. Focus on less processed foods instead, which tend to contain less sodium and added sugar than processed fare. Have quinoa more often than french fries.

5. Use the plate method

To improve portion control, imagine a line down the center of your meal plates and the one half divided in two. Fill half of your plate with fresh or cooked vegetables or fruits. In one of the quarters, add a lean protein sources such as fish or tofu, and the other with a healthy starch, like a baked sweet potato or whole-grain pasta. Make sure the meal contains a modest amount of fat, too. Healthy sources include nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado.

6. Split restaurant meals

Restaurant portions tend to be super-sized and denser in unhealthy fat and calories than homemade meals. To enjoy meals out and prevent overeating, too, share meals with a friend or family member. If you dine out alone, save half for leftovers.

7. Don’t start meals starving

If you wait to eat until you’re famished, you can easily go overboard. Stay on top of your appetite by eating healthy snacks such as fresh veggies and hummus or Greek yogurt. Start dinners out with a broth-based soup.

8. Offer to bring a healthy dish to parties

Chances are you’re not the only person at any given party on a mission to make healthier food choices. Offer to bring a nutritious dish to share, such as a veggie tray or strawberries dipped in dark chocolate for a healthier dessert.

9. Stay well-hydrated

It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. By consuming plenty of fluids, you can keep your appetite in a better place, staving off needless munchies. Smart options include water, herbal tea, sugar-free drinks like Crystal Light, and broth-based soups.

10. Eat enough

Under-eating is a sure way to spike your appetite. It can also slow your metabolism, making unwanted weight gain more likely. Aim for several balanced meals each day with snacks in between, as needed, or five to six mini-meals throughout each day.

For ongoing support and treatment of all weight issues, please call LoneStar Bariatric at (972) 445-7502 for a consultation or request an appointment using the online booking tool.

 

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