Yule is a season of celebration for many Wiccans and Pagans, and that means lots of events to attend, and lots of food to eat. After all, you've got the office holiday party, the neighbor's Hanukkah shindig, a fancy dinner with Grandma for Christmas, plus all those PTO moms dropping off plates of cookies! Combine that with stress-related eating, and it's not hard to let the pounds pile on. Next thing you know, it's January and you've got to spend your holiday bonus check on pants that are sizes bigger. Here are some ideas on how to keep those pounds off during the Yule season -- despite all the temptation!
Watch Your Portions
One of the biggest mistakes you can make during Yule is using a large plate. After all, we're all trained to finish whatever we take -- which means if you have a big plate, you'll end up with a big meal. Use a smaller sized plate, and you'll automatically end up with less food. Remember, a "serving" is a specific amount, not how much you can eat in one sitting.
Add Some Greenery
No matter what you plan on eating, make sure at least fifty percent of your food is green vegetables or fruit. Make your first course a salad or a pile of roasted veggies. The vegetables and salad will help you fill up on healthy calories, which means you'll eat less of the food that doesn't have much nutritional value.
Hurray for Soup!
Many nutrition experts will tell you that the human stomach feels full about fifteen minutes after it actually IS full. Start off with a bowl of soup or broth before your main course, and that way by the time your entree arrives, you'll be well on your way to being full already. A full stomach means you're done eating.
Schedule Your Snacks
It's really easy to graze on snacks all day, especially if you have them sitting on your desk at work, or on the counter in your kitchen. Instead, schedule your snack time just like you do meals. Plan on having a healthy snack halfway between breakfast and lunch, and again in the middle of the afternoon. This not only will help you cut back on calories, it gives you something to look forward to.
Get Up and Walk
Feeling a little bloated after eating Grandma's turkey? You're not alone - but you don't have to be miserable. Go for a brisk walk around the block, and you'll feel rejuventated. Plus, you'll be burning off some of those calories you just gobbled down!
Don't Eat on the Go
Most people find they consume more calories if they eat standing up, in the car, or straight out of a package. To combat that, only eat sitting at the table, and use a plate and fork. Don't wander around the kitchen picking and grazing. Take the time to sit down, and you'll most likely eat less. Besides, this gives you a chance to spend a few minutes with family at the end of a hectic day.
Eat Before You Party
It's tempting to go to a potluck dinner and sample a little of everything, but that's a really good way to pack on the extra pounds. Before you go to a party or event where there will be food, be sure to eat ahead of time. Snack on a bowl of soup, some peanut butter, or an apple and some yogurt. Don't ever go to a party hungry, or you'll make yourself miserable.