The lovely time of the year when families and friends get together to enjoy a special meal and give thanks for everything they have. It also spells out a time when diets get devastated with seemingly abundant numbers of foods and desserts. Here is how to take control and make sure your dinner doesn’t derail your diet.
1. Portion Control is Key
Now is not the time to challenge your in-laws to contests involving who can eat more. This will send your diet into the dumpster. When arranging a plate, make sure it doesn’t resemble a pyramid. This may be a bad sign.
2. Be careful with chips, dips, and appetizers
Pigs in the blanket, potato chips, and dips all contain a huge amount of calories as well as fat and therefore will quickly erase a week’s worth of training! Stay away from anything that is fried especially. Dips such as sour cream are loaded with fat. Choose salsa or guacamole instead. A safe bet is the vegetable platter.
3. Start with vegetables and salads first
This will prep your stomach to limit the amount of food you can intake. Foods with higher amounts of fiber will keep you fuller longer and starve off any desires to binge.
4. Beware of high carb foods
Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite sides at dinner – however, when made authentically, they are loaded with fat, astronomical amounts of carbs, and usually a reservoir of gravy. Again, remember portion control.
I love my gravy, but I consume it in moderate amounts – that means I do not see my food swimming in it. If you do, you’ve probably over done it. If you have time to look up what gravy is made out of, do so, but only if you can live with the possibly of not having it ever again.
You can load up on many calories with drinks alone – avoid sugary drinks like soda, and sweetened iced tea. Opt for water, unsweetened teas, or flavored water. Try a glass of water dashed with cranberry juice for flavor.
Most likely there will be a never ending selection of cakes, pies, cookies, puddings, and who knows what else. Opt for fruits and vegetables. If you must indulge, remember portion control. Aim to sample a few small pieces rather than have a plateful of the “bad” things.
While it is great to have discipline – it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. As long as you eat reasonable portions you should be alright – but remember it’s about spending time with the people you care about. Enjoy your day and safe travels!