We are in the high season for eating during the holidays and hopefully the suggestions that I have given you so far have been helping you to pace yourself for all the events and parties that have been held in the last several weeks. Christmas is now just four days away and many people are rushing around to finish last minute plans to enjoy the holidays and the days off from work for the rest of the year. The big meal is coming up and people are looking forward to sitting down and eating with family and friends. Here are a few more tips to help you to control yourself at Christmas dinner: Chew your food Did you know to properly digest your food you need to chew each bite at least 25 times before you swallow? Be present with your food. Enjoy every bite of what you are eating. This not only helps the digestive process it also helps you feel full faster and reduces your caloric intake. You will not feel as bloated and uncomfortable after meals. Also, wait 20 minutes before you get up for a second helping--you might realize that you are actually full and don’t need another helping.
Pick two to three high caloric foods to enjoy Pay attention to everything you are eating. Pick two to three high caloric foods from the entire menu, including dessert, and enjoy them. Eat only one serving of these types of foods, but you can have more than one serving of other foods (whole foods). I’ll give you an example: If you love macaroni and cheese then put it on your plate to enjoy it, but pass on the butter and cream filled mashed potatoes. Leave your second choice for dessert. Do not sample everything. Make a decision and stick to it.
Use a salad plate instead of a regular size plate Many holiday parties have buffet-style eating. This is a perfect opportunity to overeat. If you pick up or ask for a salad plate it helps to reduce the amount of food you are eating at one sitting. Do not overfill the plate. Try to keep your food from touching each other. This creates space on your plate and prevents you from piling on too much food at one time. If you really want to go back for seconds, wait at least 20 minutes to give your stomach and your brain time to communicate.
Don’t forget that leftovers can help put on weight so enjoy your meal and don’t take leftovers home with you. If dinner is at your house share any big leftover portions with guests so you will not have be eating off your Christmas dinner through New Year's Eve!
Dr. Daemon Jones