How Meal Planning and Portion Control Prepare You for Holiday Feasts

Everyone knows that the holidays are the worst time to go on a diet. But if you’ve already been working on your weight loss goals, there are some things you can do to keep your diet from jumping off the rails. With some careful forethought, planning, and preparation, you can stick to your diet (for the most part). Here’s how.

Meal planning

Don’t feel like you have to eat everything that your guests or family members eat. In fact, your guests may have their own dietary restrictions. Plan ahead to make sure that you have meals for everyone regardless of diet, including yourself. If you eat several small meals per day, plan and prep those meals before your guests ever arrive. After feeding the family, you can grab one of your meals and go.

Portion control

Portion control is a big problem for most people during the holidays. Even if you take small portions of each dish, it could still add up to more than you should eat. So how do you decide what to eat or how much?

The first rule of thumb is to understand that we are all human. And when presented with a feast, the Id in us is only thinking about eating that delicious food. But we can control that Id just a bit by giving it what it wants — in small amounts.

Portion control should be approached as per food group rather than per food item. After all, a normal portion of vegetables is a half cup. But if there are three different types of veggies served three different ways, you can’t eat a half cup of each. This distinction is very important when it comes to carb-heavy foods.

You can purchase portion control dividers that you can place on your plate to ensure you don’t get too much food. These can be very helpful, especially when there’s a large spread in front of you. 

Being easy on yourself

No one is perfect, and almost everyone cheats on their diet at least a bit during the holidays. Instead of trying to force yourself to stick to a strict diet, realize that you are going to slip and plan for it. If you still make a mistake and eat too much of the wrong thing, don’t beat yourself up about it or throw the diet away for the rest of the day. Be kind to yourself and move on to eat healthier foods for the rest of the day.

If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to make it through the holidays without weight gain. Realistically, preventing backsliding and keeping that scale at an even keel is the best most can hope for during the holidays, although some lucky ones with the appropriate assistance are able to lose weight, even during the holidays. Ready to get started on a weight loss program designed for you? Contact us today to schedule your appointment.