Any time people get together at a party and there’s food involved, eating moderately healthy can be something of a chore. It’s so hard to turn down that extra bite of dessert or that extra little appetizer that tastes delicious, or even that other drink. There, however, some tricks that help you traverse your Labor Day party without piling on the unwanted calories.
The best place to start is with the plate size. The larger the plate, the more likely you are to eat more. Part of it is the need to fill up the space on the plate, and the other part is that it promotes faster eating. If you have an option, grab a smaller plate. Even if you need to go back for something, it’s typically better as it forces you to slow down.
Don’t pile it high and focus on portioning. Again, it forces you to slow down and think about the food that you are selecting. When putting your plate together, think of the myPlate suggestion. Half of the plate should be veggies and fruits, a quarter should be meat, and last quarter is your carbs. It’s a little simplified, but the typical portion size for meat and carbs is roughly the size of your fist. Most reasonable sized plates (8-10”) are about this size. Most recommendations don’t limit veggies and fruits simply because of the nutritional health and most people don’t get enough of them anyway. When it’s dessert time, get a couple bite sized pieces of a few items. It’ll be enough to satisfy the need for them without splurging extravagantly.
Another suggestion is to put a time limit on eating. This doesn’t mean giving yourself 15 minutes and cramming as much food into your mouth as possible in that time. Rather, take your time eating and make sure to chew slowly and thoroughly. A good tip to remember is to count your chews for each bite. Most dieticians recommend around 30 chews for each bite, especially if it is rougher food. This means you end up consuming less and actually enjoying your food more.
You don’t have to deprive yourself at parties, but being mindful about what you eat, how you eat, and how long you eat can mean a large difference in being healthy and feeling guilty for eating too much.
This article is brought to you by the YMCA. The YMCA is not just a gym; it is a worldwide charitable fellowship united by a common loyalty to Jesus Christ for the purpose of helping people grow in spirit, mind and body.
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