How to control your holiday snacking

One of the things that most of us look forward to during the holidays is the plethora of treats that surround us. Delicious cookies, drinks, appetizers, dinners and desserts abound, giving us every chance to indulge in our favorite things. But all this food– and the desire to take advantage of it while it’s available– can be bad for our bodies. This consumption can lead to extra weight in the long run, because, unless you are exercising accordingly, all that excess has no other function except to turn into fat. In the aftermath, it can be hard to get back on track with a normal diet, which is why it’s advisable to try and stick with some control during the season. For ways to keep your holiday snacking in check, take a look at the tips below.

Plan ahead. If you make a road trip this holiday season, try packing healthy snacks before leaving. This way, you aren’t stuck with the unhealthy choices of a convenience store, which can result in excess calories, no nutritional value, and a potentially longer time spent on the road. Opt for fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even jerkies.

Have a healthy snack before the party. If you’re trying to stay on track with your diet, you ideally should not show up to any party starving. So, it’s smart to keep a healthy snack on you at all times, like nuts or trail mix. Have this snack before you go to the get-together so you can still enjoy all that the party has to offer, just in smaller portions.

Go for the smaller plate. Studies show that taking a smaller plate over a larger one can actually help you eat less overall. The small plate creates an illusion in our minds which helps us to feel more satisfied with a smaller portion, as opposed to putting that same size portion on a bigger plate.

Watch what you drink. Keep in mind that alcohol can add on the calories quickly. Soda, with its high sugar content, can do this too. Try alternating between sugary and non-sugary drinks. Water always works, even if it is not the most exciting option. Seltzer comes in many different flavors, the carbonation is bubbly and exciting, and can even serve to curb your appetite slightly, all of which are key to keeping your intake under control during this crazy time of year.

Divert your attention. Try focusing on something other than food at your next party. Immerse yourself in the company of your friends and family, and treat each party as an opportunity to spend quality time with people, not food. This shift in perspective can do wonders for willpower over your diet. If you find that you’re still feeling cravings for all the goodies, that’s okay. Try to remove yourself from the food area. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”

Try These Psychological Tricks to Prevent Mindless Snacking and Avoid Holiday Weight Gain [Lifehacker]

10 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain [WebMD]

Control Your Weight: Holiday Snacking Tips [MSN]