One of the biggest struggles for people trying to manage their weight and diet is portion control, and the holidays are one of the most notorious times that we tend to overeat. Calorie counts for a Thanksgiving meal here in the US easily hit 3,000kcal.
That’s enough food for two days. In one meal. And that’s not even adding in the desserts and drinks.
So how do you increase the chances that you’re not overly stuffed and regretting holiday meals? Here’s a few simple (research backed) strategies:
Size matters. Well, plate size anyway. Simply decreasing the size of your plate can help you control how much food ends up on it, and in your stomach. Research has shown bigger plates increase our servings by as much as 52% and our overall consumption by almost 45%. Stick to a smaller plate and you’ll hit smaller portions much easier. (Just don’t go back for seconds!)
Take a break. Finished your meal but still want ‘just a little more’? Set a timer for 20 minutes, and then decide if you still want more food. Why? The hormones that tell our brain we’re “full” take about 20 minutes to make it to the brain. Give those little guys a fighting chance!
Decide ahead of time to indulge wisely. Research tells us that the first 3-4 bites of a food are most satisfying, so pick a few treats you’re looking forward to ahead of time and commit to a small serving of each. By planning ahead with a precise goal (I’ll have 3 bites of 3 desserts I love) you’ll get the rewarding taste of the holiday foods you love without overdoing it.