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10 ways to eat less during the holidays

POSTED: November 20, 2016 6:05 p.m.

The holidays are meant to be a time for giving. But too often, it becomes the season of giving in to temptations.

 

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the common claim is the typical American gains an average of 5 pounds in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. And each of the holidays is known for a signature dish or treat.

A bit too much gravy in November, a few too many cookies in December and an extra glass or two of champagne in the first wee morning hours of January can pack on the pounds.

It doesn’t take much, said the staff at Obesity Solutions, a weight-loss program offered through The Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville.

“In my personal opinion, the holidays are one of those times when people feel like they don’t have to be so restricted. That they can splurge a little, because it is the holidays,” medical receptionist Whitney Swing said. “When people think celebration, they associate it with food.”

For that reason, she and the rest of the staff at Obesity Solutions compiled a list of tips to help North Georgia residents avoid overindulgence.

 

Drink plenty of water

While this tip might seem most obvious, it’s for good reason. It’s one of the most important, since many people confuse thirst for hunger. So staying hydrated can prevent cravings.

 

Avoid social snacking

Basically, don’t sit around and chat with a big tray of food at hand.

“Don’t hover over that food,” Swing said. “And don’t just have unending amounts at hand while you’re talking with your friends and family.”

 

Go for protein first

Not only does reaching for chicken before chips get you fuller faster and keep you fuller longer, it helps stave off those pesky sugar crashes following carb binges.

 

Chew slowly

The slower you chew, the more time your food has to reach your stomach. That means you’ll be satiated sooner, thus avoiding extra calories.

 

Drink after you eat

Although you might have heard glugging water during a meal has benefits, the clinic recommends the opposite.

“Do not drink with your meal,” Swing said. “Drink after.”

Not only does this mean you fill your body with the proteins that will curb your appetite long term, it ensures your body has the proper acids to ideally break down nutrients and get those good bits into your system.

 

Use a small salad plate instead of a full-size dinner plate

“That way, you run out of room on your plate a lot more quickly, and it tricks you into thinking you got more,” Swing said.

 

Plan ahead

“If you want to bring your own dish that’s a healthy option, that’s great,” Swing said.

 

Show up a little late

 

Although nobody is suggesting you be rude and appear four hours after the event was supposed to end, Swing said arriving to a buffet meal a bit after the main crush is a good idea. You will not be in line with people and tempted to fill your plate the same way.

 

Socialize more

“When people think celebration, they think food,” Swing said. “People don’t always focus on the socialization aspect.”

She recommends spending time playing cards with your grandparents, chatting with your cousins or any other one of the numerous options involving quality interaction rather than returning to the buffet for second or third helpings.

 

Have an accountability partner

When you feel tempted to reach for a second piece of pie, your designated dieter friend can talk you off the ledge if need be.

 

Whatever tip works best for you, the best tip of all is to just enjoy the time with loved ones and not take any missteps too seriously, according to staff at Obesity Solutions.

 

“Obviously, no one is perfect,” Swing said. “It’s not about how you fall down but how you get back up.”

BY BEKAH PORTER

For The Times

The holidays are meant to be a time for giving. But too often, it becomes the season of giving in to temptations.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the common claim is the typical American gains an average of 5 pounds in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. And each of the holidays is known for a signature dish or treat.

A bit too much gravy in November, a few too many cookies in December and an extra glass or two of champagne in the first wee morning hours of January can pack on the pounds.

It doesn’t take much, said the staff at Obesity Solutions, a weight-loss program offered through The Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville.

“In my personal opinion, the holidays are one of those times when people feel like they don’t have to be so restricted. That they can splurge a little, because it is the holidays,” medical receptionist Whitney Swing said. “When people think celebration, they associate it with food.”

For that reason, she and the rest of the staff at Obesity Solutions compiled a list of tips to help North Georgia residents avoid overindulgence.

 

Drink plenty of water

While this tip might seem most obvious, it’s for good reason. It’s one of the most important, since many people confuse thirst for hunger. So staying hydrated can prevent cravings.

 

Avoid social snacking

Basically, don’t sit around and chat with a big tray of food at hand.

“Don’t hover over that food,” Swing said. “And don’t just have unending amounts at hand while you’re talking with your friends and family.”

 

Go for protein first

Not only does reaching for chicken before chips get you fuller faster and keep you fuller longer, it helps stave off those pesky sugar crashes following carb binges.

 

Chew slowly

The slower you chew, the more time your food has to reach your stomach. That means you’ll be satiated sooner, thus avoiding extra calories.

 

Drink after you eat

Although you might have heard glugging water during a meal has benefits, the clinic recommends the opposite.

“Do not drink with your meal,” Swing said. “Drink after.”

Not only does this mean you fill your body with the proteins that will curb your appetite long term, it ensures your body has the proper acids to ideally break down nutrients and get those good bits into your system.

 

Use a small salad plate instead of a full-size dinner plate

“That way, you run out of room on your plate a lot more quickly, and it tricks you into thinking you got more,” Swing said.

 

Plan ahead

“If you want to bring your own dish that’s a healthy option, that’s great,” Swing said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show up a little late

Although nobody is suggesting you be rude and appear four hours after the event was supposed to end, Swing said arriving to a buffet meal a bit after the main crush is a good idea. You will not be in line with people and tempted to fill your plate the same way.

 

Socialize more

“When people think celebration, they think food,” Swing said. “People don’t always focus on the socialization aspect.”

She recommends spending time playing cards with your grandparents, chatting with your cousins or any other one of the numerous options involving quality interaction rather than returning to the buffet for second or third helpings.

 

Have an accountability partner

When you feel tempted to reach for a second piece of pie, your designated dieter friend can talk you off the ledge if need be.

 

Whatever tip works best for you, the best tip of all is to just enjoy the time with loved ones and not take any missteps too seriously, according to staff at Obesity Solutions.

“Obviously, no one is perfect,” Swing said. “It’s not about how you fall down but how you get back up.”



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