Three sim­ple rules to pre­vent overeat­ing this sea­son

How to feast mind­fully this hol­i­day sea­son


It’s that dreaded time of the year when we bid good­bye to fit­ness goals be­grudg­ingly made at the start of the sea­son. Even though we live in a trop­i­cal coun­try, the drop in tem­per­a­ture dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son is un­de­ni­able—it’s like a sig­nal to the body to crave warmth in com­fort food.

Be­fore we start re­ject­ing all the in­vi­ta­tions to hol­i­day din­ners and their ac­com­pa­ny­ing calo­rie-laden spreads, know that there are ways to pre­vent overeat­ing and to stave off the feel­ing of bloat­ed­ness that comes af­ter.

Choose whole foods

Prac­tice self-con­trol when it comes to re­fined car­bo­hy­drates. Con­sum­ing high glycemic foods, a.k.a. those with high sugar con­tent, spikes your body’s in­sulin, which is the hor­mone that bal­ances blood glu­cose lev­els and stores ex­cess sugar di­rectly in the body as fat. Choos­ing low glycemic foods like veg­eta­bles, eggs, Greek yo­gurt, nuts, and or­ganic meats will sta­bi­lize your ap­petite and sa­ti­ate hunger for longer pe­ri­ods of time. Plus, you don’t ex­pe­ri­ence the nasty sugar crash that re­sults in ir­ri­tabil­ity and lethargy.

Don’t starve your­self

It has be­come sec­ond na­ture to deprive our­selves of food when we know that a feast awaits us later—a com­mon way of ready­ing the stom­ach for the amount and va­ri­ety of food we’d be tak­ing in. How­ever, starv­ing your­self pre-party does more dam­age than good, as hunger pangs push you to over­com­pen­sate later, caus­ing you to overeat. Rather than starv­ing your­self, have a pro­tein snack to get you through the hours be­fore your hol­i­day gath­er­ing. A ba­nana-peanut but­ter smoothie, some low-sugar gra­nola, an ap­ple, a boiled egg, or even a hand­ful of un­salted pop­corn could sta­bi­lize your hunger and help pace your eating, sav­ing you a lot of di­ges­tive and hor­monal prob­lems.

Eat like a bird

My mother once asked a very slim sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian how she re­tains her fig­ure, and she replied, “I eat like a bird.” More of­ten than not, when faced with a spread of var­i­ous dishes, our all too hu­man ten­dency is to try ev­ery­thing. In buf­fets es­pe­cially, din­ers will fill their plates al­most to spilling, which leads not only to overeat­ing but also to food waste. To avoid this, choose to en­joy dishes that you hardly get to eat on a daily ba­sis, and serve your­self only small amounts. Bet­ter yet, go for the health­i­est foods, like sal­ads, veg­gies, and grilled meats. This way, you could have lit­tle bites of ev­ery­thing that will sa­ti­ate your palate and sat­isfy your hunger.

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