I hate diets. When I say diet, I’m talking about a way of eating that cannot realistically be carried out for the rest of your life. I launched Budget for Health 3 years ago with the hope that I can educate people how to eat right. It doesn’t have to be expensive, you don’t have to make everything from scratch, and you don’t have to be a chef.
Choosing to eat healthy is a daily decision. There are immediate and delayed gratification components; if you eat carbs without any protein or fat to go with it you will be hungry an hour later craving more carbs. If you start your day with a good breakfast (Example: eggs & veggies cooked in butter or coconut oil) your blood sugar will be more stable and you will be in a better mood and more productive since you’re able to focus. As for delayed gratification, losing weight doesn’t happen overnight. Healing your gut doesn’t happen overnight. You won’t see results from daily decisions but they do add up and will greatly affect us in the long run.
With that rant, let me offer you a handful of “Thanksgiving diet tips.” Don’t throw your hands in the air and hope 2015 will be a better year with eating right. You can enjoy food and still avoid the 10+ pound weight gain that catches so many people over the holidays. I’ll be totally honest- these are specific tips I have to implement myself. Yes, I am a dietitian, but I am also human and LOVE food. We are in this together!
Verbalize a goal
I literally have to say out loud to Dave “I will only have one dessert tonight” or else I will take one of each dessert and maybe get a second of the dessert I especially liked. I end up reaching for a second brownie and giving Dave a look that says “I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me.” Saying a goal out loud to someone other than yourself provides accountability. We become a team and practice self control together.
Too often I’m not even hungry by the time dinner starts because I filled up on all the appetizers. Instead of chatting by the food, move to a different room. If that’s not a feasible option, pour yourself a glass of water and mindlessly sip on that rather than mindlessly reaching for more chips and spinach dip.
Use a plate
This ties in with grazing. Put what you want on your plate, walk away from the food table, then eat the food on your plate. Confession- sometimes I eat WHILE I’m moving through the food line just so I can fit more on my plate. I can’t be the only one who’s done that, right? If I do this right, I can always go back for seconds once I evaluate if I’m actually still hungry or just want to eat more because it’s so good.
Give yourself grace
That doesn’t mean overindulge. Sometimes you go in with a plan and the plan fails. Instead of throwing your whole game plan to practice portion control out the window because you ate 3 pieces of pie, start over at the next meal.
What tips help you to practice self control at potluck-type events?