Feeling a little heavy after the holidays? You are not alone. The average holiday dinner contains about 3,000 calories of scrumptious, tempting foods; not a mood lifter for health-conscious individuals. So how do you avoid the downward spiral of gaining even more weight as you head into the new year? Avoid making the common mistakes listed below.
Splurging for the sake of 2014.
Jenny Giblin, a psychotherapist and nutrition coach says that rationalizing eating larger portions in the name of “holiday spirit” can cause weight gain. This free-for-all attitude can easily add hundreds, if not thousands, of calories to your plate. Occasional splurging is rarely harmful, but sometimes you can get stuck in a splurging downhill spiral. Giblin recommends making sure that one feast doesn’t turn into a month-long splurging party.
Using large plates.
The 2010 International Journal of Obesity reported that plates have been growing in size for thousands of years. If you use a huge plate, chances are you’ll pile that plate high with huge servings. Giblin suggests making sure you can still see your plate through the foods you’ve chosen. Also try picking only three different food items at a time.
Forgetting about fiber.
Fiber helps you feel satisfied, improves blood sugar control, and promotes better digestion function. Most traditional holiday dishes, like cookies, candy, and pies, contain little to no fiber. This lack of substance makes them so much easier to eat in large quantities. Baked sweet potatoes, whole-grain rolls, cooked greens, whole-grain stuffing, beans, and lentils are all healthy fiber-rich options.
Eating too much butter.
The Calorie Control Council says that the average person can consume the fat equivalent of three sticks of butter at a holiday meal. Adding butter to your dinner roll and mashed potatoes can equal 204 extra calories to worry about later. Choosing what you truly love to eat and skipping the foods you don’t feel as strongly about can help you save the unnecessary calories.
Thinking any vegetable or fruit dish is healthy.
Cranberry sides are often packed with excessive sugars and unnatural ingredients, while candied yams and fruits at holiday meals are packed with sugar and corn syrup. The added sweeteners can make your blood sugar spike, leading to an even larger appetite. One cup of fresh cranberries has only 46 calories, while a cup of jellied cranberry sauce has a whopping 220. When you can, stick to eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
Eating light and letting loose on dessert.
Brunch-type desserts and sweets can easily match, or even exceed, the calorie count of a hearty meal. One slice of pecan pie is 500 calories, about the same amount you get from one serving of turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy combined. Trimming your dessert servings to half a slice of (insert favorite pie here) can help you manage your caloric intake.
Make sure to consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for all health related advice.
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