Holiday portion control–those can seem like a string of bad words if we aren’t careful. The holidays (aka the FEASTING SEASON) are filled with festive parties that often include large quantities of delicious food. And, of course, the holidays are a wonderful time to “eat, drink, and be merry,” but if you want to celebrate the season without wrecking your fitness or fat loss goals, it’s important to do so in moderation.
Everyone knows that I don’t deny myself my favorite foods. If you didn’t know that, read the post HERE on why I have NO forbidden foods. However, I do make sure to keep my portions in check.
For me, this helps to prevent the overeat-diet-repeat cycle. By removing restrictions but still keeping a focus on portion control, you get the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the holiday celebrations AND stay on track with your goals. After all, feeling joyful is what this season is all about! This includes the joy that comes from finally figuring out how to make the fat-loss lifestyle work for you…even during the hustle & bustle of the feasting season!
Portion control during the holidays may seem like an oxymoron, but it really can be done!
Read on for some of my favorite tips and tricks that help to keep my eating habits balanced and my portions in control during the festive busyness of the holiday season.
5 Tips for Holiday Portion Control:
- Don’t skip meals. It’s important to keep fuel coming in all day long in order to keep blood sugar stable. Regular meals also help balance your hunger, energy and cravings. So even though it’s tempting to skip breakfast and lunch if you know you have a big holiday party in the evening, remind yourself that this often does more harm than good. When you skip meals, you not only increase your likelihood of storing fat, but also put yourself in a situation where you are starving in the hours afterwards. We’ve all been there – when you’re so hungry you could eat a horse. At this point, you no longer make educated decisions about your food choices and find yourself at the mercy of your growling stomach and raging hunger hormones. This mindset causes you to overeat, and again, increases your likelihood of storing, rather than burning fat.
- Prepare in advance. I love to keep my pantry stocked with healthy foods. And keeping fat loss friendly staples on hand during the holidays is even more important. First, stock your fridge with plenty of pre-cut veggies to snack on as you prep. The fiber and water combo is perfect to keep you feeling full. Second, make sure you have some quick & easy protein on hand. When you know a feast is coming, a protein shake or a quick bar to grab beforehand is useful to stave off hunger and avoid an all out binge later.
- Fill up first. If you’re feeling especially hungry at a holiday party, don’t ignore those hunger cues. Instead of filling up on foods that may trigger you to overeat though, focus on filling up with water and fiber FIRST. Often, dehydration is mistaken as hunger! Make it your goal to drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. If you’re still feeling hungry, start to fill up on foods with the most fiber and nutrients, such as raw veggies and fruits. Filling up on fiber will help you avoid the not-so-healthy treats.
- Look for healthy alternatives. You can absolutely enjoy a few bites of your favorite pie or cookie in moderation. But if you’ve got a sweet tooth like me and know you’ll be wanting dessert on repeat, don’t forget to be prepared for a good game of “dessert defense.” Check out a few of our favorite clean-dessert recipes that we love, especially at this time of year. Make these fat-loss friendly treats ahead of time to have on hand when a sweet tooth craving strikes. Instead of using Aunt Betty’s sugar-and-fat-laden pumpkin pie recipe, how about some crustless pumpkin pie?
- Practice proper plate portioning. At parties one go-to trick for keeping portions in check is to use a smaller plate. Instead of mindlessly snacking and remaining unaware of how much you’re truly eating, practice proper plate portioning. The plate provides a visual of how much you’re eating. Additionally, it ensures that you don’t lose track of small bites here and there. As a general habit, practice filling half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with starch. This is an easy way to guarantee less fat and carbs and more fiber.
Celebrate the holidays by maintaining good nutrition and continuing to follow your fat loss lifestyle. It is possible ( and in the long run, so much more positive) to practice good holiday portion control!
Here’s to a very happy & HEALTHY holiday season!
Do you find yourself wishing you had someone to help keep you accountable to your fitness goals, especially around the holiday (or as we know it, the FEASTING) season? You’ll find a kind and dedicated group of women just like you to help you through the holidays and throughout the year when you join the BeyondFit Life Club!