Winter Break. The month long break from school to visit with friends, get your fill of family time, and load up on some home cooking that you missed during your fall semester. If the freshman fifteen is a real thing, I would attribute at least 5 of those pounds to winter break gluttony. If you happen to be one of the very unlucky ones like myself who celebrates both Hannukah and Christmas, you know that the multiple feasts, along with a constant influx of cookie pushing mothers will lead you down a dark path of overeating and food comas.
This winter break I tried by best to combat the statistics of overeating by following a few simple tips. All of these tips are great for any celebrations during the year:
1. Using a salad plate when available at buffet dinners.
2. Eating slowly by interacting in conversation over meals. I noticed that when others around me were going back for seconds and thirds, I would feel the need to catch up with them. When I was eating slowly and taking breaks for conversation; I listened to my body, which told me that one plate of food was sufficient to fill me up.
3. Offer to share a desert with someone sitting next to you at the table. I’m not trying to fool myself that I’m not going to have some of my step-mother’s famous (once a year) apple pie. Portion control is everything.
4. When I know I am going to a big family dinner, I’ll prepare myself by eating lighter, fresher foods for the 24 hours beforehand.
5. Try everything, but in moderation. I notice when I refuse myself something I really want, I’ll just go overboard at the next meal. Try to section out your plate, have a quarter of your plate as salad, another quarter of veggies, and then you have half of a plate free to sample the mashed potatoes, a bit of biscuit, and stuffing. Try to think of your plate as an art piece, make it colorful and full of variety!