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NEVER arrive hungry.While it seems like a good strategy, skipping meals so you can splurge later almost always backfires. It’s hard to make good choices and practice portion control when your stomach is growling, and in the end, you’ll probably eat far more calories as a result. Instead, eat a healthy snack or light meal before you leave the house to curb your appetite – a small bowl of cereal, half of a turkey sandwich, or a piece of fruit with yogurt will all do the trick. The 200 or so calories you spend at home will likely save you a thousand (or more) later on.
“Spend” wisely.Before you start putting food on your plate, walk around the buffet table, check out the dessert table, and make a plan to spend most of your calories on the healthiest choices you can find. Fill your plate with colorful, low-calorie vegetables and lean meats like turkey or fish. Add smaller amounts of higher-calorie potatoes, stuffing, and anything creamy or saucy. Stick to just a taste of the desserts, and pass on foods that don’t tempt your taste buds.
Choose this not that.Swapping out a few high-calorie choices for lower-calorie choices can really add up:
|Instead of:||Choose:||And Save:|
|4 stuffed mushrooms||4 pieces shrimp cocktail||330 calories|
|4 oz dark meat turkey with skin||4 oz turkey breast, no skin||70 calories|
|1 cup green bean casserole||1 cup steamed green beans||100 calories|
|4 oz candied sweet potato||4 oz baked sweet potato||60 calories|
|½ cup gravy||¼ cup gravy||40 calories|
|1 slice pecan pie||1 slice pumpkin pie||225 calories|
Mindless eating – scarfing down food with little thought of what it is – is not a healthy practice. But mindful eating – appreciating each bite with an awareness of what you’re putting into your body – isn’t just a healthier approach, it’s a deeply joyful way of eating.
Don’t drink your calories.Be aware of how many calories lurk in beverages. Consider the calories in the following 6oz. drinks:
|Eggnog||260 (without alcohol – with alcohol is 360)|