The other day a friend expressed concern that she’d “double in size” if she kept up the holiday-party-pace and asked me how I managed to stay in control, how I indulge without overindulging. I told her, and she thought I should share my “strategy”, so here it is:
Speaking loosely, my strategy is to fill up on those foods that are good/better for me, and only have a bit of the other stuff.
- When possible, I try to find out ahead of time what’s on the menu. I generally have a pretty healthy diet and while I try to stick to it most of the time, I don’t deprive myself of something if I really want it. So if the menu is full of delicious but calorie-laden foods, I’ll eat something before I go: a plate of vegetables, a salad, or my favorite: fruit and low-fat yogurt. That way I won’t be hungry when I arrive, and I can eat a little of what’s there without going overboard.
- I alternate each drink with a glass of water. That’s an easy way to pace myself, cut down on alcohol’s empty calories, and stave off the likelihood of a hangover the next day.
- If it’s a dinner where we serve ourselves, I pile up my plate with mostly vegetables. I’ll take a small piece of meat/chicken/fish but avoid salad dressing, gravy, and sauce. (I know; it helps a lot if you really like vegetables).
- I’ve learned that half a cookie is usually as good as a whole one. Same for cake, brownie, and pie.
- Tomorrow, I’m joining a group of friends for our annual Soul Food Xmas festivities. It’s soul food so I’m not even going to pretend to eat healthily. I’m going to have fun! So, all my meals prior to the dinner will be pretty pared down (e.g., egg whites, sliced tomatoes, and a strip of bacon for breakfast, a large green salad for lunch, and a snack or two of fresh fruit). That way I can “throw down” at dinner without being ridiculous. (I’m thinking smothered pork chops will be nice).
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