There are so many tips floating around to help us retain at least some of our waistline during December.
And yet, even with the best intentions and armed with tips and info, many of us end up eating our own body weight in Christmas dinners.
And washing it down with way too many calorie-rich drinks.
So what can we do to prevent this from happening again this year?
I’ll give you 3 of my best tips and hope they will help you too.
1) Don’t sit down to a festive meal when you are famished.
The sensible part of your brain won’t work under those circumstances. The area in charge of willpower will appear to have been shut down.
Consume something about half an hour before that big meal. But not just anything.
Avoid fluffy yeast bread or sugary, fatty foods because within a short time they can often make you even hungrier.
It’s got to do with blood sugar and insulin responses to those foods.
Therefore here are some snack suggestions before sitting down to a feast:
👉A bowl of soup, either blended or chunky, with some legumes in it. Science explains that blended soups with protein [such as legumes] stay in our stomach for longer than thin soups with a few veggies floating around in them. Food staying in our stomach for longer prevents hunger.
👉Hummus, vegetable sticks and pumpernickel. Pumpernickel is a black firm grainy bread without yeast. Most brands have a Glycaemic Index of only 50 which is excellent.
👉Or a protein shake.
Protein is the macronutrient that keeps us fuller for longer. Better than carbs or fat do.
I use 25g pure pea protein, blended with unsweetened plant milk, half a cup of blueberries and a tablespoon of flax meal or chia seeds. The seeds provide some good fat and fibre, and the blueberries have a ‘magic’ antioxidant component that helps prevent spiking your blood and then letting it crash too low. [That’s the action that causes hunger]
Reduce the food variety that you eat during the festive meals.
“Some of this, …some of that, …now a bit of this and then a bit of that”…keeps our taste buds and brain entertained with flavours and textures and we can keep going like this for a long time. Have you ever noticed there’s always room for dessert, even when we are full? That’s because it’s a totally different flavour and texture from the main meal.
Researchers have known for a long time that food variety can make us overeat. For instance, when there were sandwiches with 4 different fillings subjects ate 30% more than when there was just one filling.
In another study, people ate significantly more when allowed to eat 3 different flavours of yoghurt or ice cream even if the flavours were not their favourite…They wanted to taste most of them and went back to have one more serving of their favourite one.
Don’t go around nibbling on food from each party snack bowl. And when it comes to the main meal, fill your plate with low-calorie vegetables first, omit the bread and choose one of the meals on offer. No the whole array of 4 different ones…like at a smorgasbord [they are simply the worst for overeating!]
Can you influence the host to have low-calorie options? Or else everything might be doused in fats and sugar.
Maybe suggest that you bring along a dish that is suitable for everyone and cuts back on their work. You could even bring a couple of side dishes that could fill up plates with foods that better align with your weight goals.
But if the host is you, then that’s easy. Being in my Facebook group, you already know what types of dishes will be right for you.
Commit to staying away from alcohol because drinking will make the last smidgen of willpower fly out the window. Woosh…and it’s gone.
A lovely glass of mineral water with lime and mint does wonders to one’s sanity and decision making powers 😉
Trust me on this one. I speak from experience…LOL