Well Easter weekend has arrived! I hope you all have dinners to attend and family to visit. Unfortunately since we have the grocery store, we aren’t able to leave this weekend (or any long weekend), but on the upside we always get to make our own long weekends! If you have dinners to attend I thought I would share some ideas on how to prevent over eating and making better choices.
If you are beginning your journey or have already begun, a holiday dinner can wreak havoc on your new-found lifestyle and eating choices. It is hard to be surrounded by all of your favorite dishes you have now given up, and being able to say no. So instead of being frightened by the whole experience, make it one you can be proud of yourself for. I remember my first holiday dinner, my family members are all really supportive about my lifestyle, my problem was having the will power to say no to my favorite dishes (white rice with bacon) and overeating. But I really surprised myself, I filled my plate with a lot of vegetables, protein (usually holiday dinners consist of a turkey) and some mashed potatoes (my mom made them with Greek yogurt for me, she’s a wonderful mom). I did have a small (and I mean small) piece of her famous caramel pie, because I had made a conscious decision too, without feeling any guilt. And the best part, no over eating and I didn’t have to join everyone for a nap after dinner because I was so full!
I find if I went into these kinds of situations( everything from family dinners to restaurants) with a positive “I can do this” attitude, the more successful I would be. Now my previous favorite foods are no longer my favorite. I prefer to fill my plate full of healthy options that help me stay on track and are good for me. I do get the odd comment from people saying “I feel so bad for you” or “your missing out”. Why on earth would anyone feel bad for me or think I was missing out? I CHOOSE not to eat the things most people eat and think nothing about what they are putting into their bodies (chocolate bars, candy etc.), and if I did want to I would, I just CHOOSE not to. I really do love vegetables and clean eating, and not because anyone is forcing me to. Don’t get me wrong, but very occasionally I will have part of a home-made cinnamon bun or cookie, but I only have a couple of bites and that it all I need. I didn’t have treats when I first started clean eating, because if I did, I would want more and more. Now I can have one or two bites and be done with it. I apologize about my rant haha, but I thought it was important to share the things I have and continue to deal with. But now onto some tips on getting through a holiday dinner.
1. Eat before you go. This may seem silly, but I do this almost every time I go out to a restaurant or for a family dinner. It prevents me from over eating and helps me make good choices (I am still human ;)). I will have a small protein shake with fruit and spinach, so I have something to warrant my hunger and keep me from reaching for the bread basket before my meal or the seafood surprise dip (you all know what I am talking about).
2. Decide what you are going to eat before you get there. Some people, including myself, like to plan, and I believe planning is the key to success. If you have been to that particular restaurant or family members home for dinner, you usually know what to expect for food choices. If you are going to a restaurant, nowadays most restaurants have their menu’s online. You can make a better choice at home, then when you are ravenous at a restaurant and would eat anything they put on your table (bread basket). Be sure to ask for your food plain (not cooked in any butter or oil).
3. Drink water before your meal. Sometimes thirst can be confused with hunger. To prevent that from happening keep yourself hydrated. Also, try to avoid drinking too much alcohol, not only can it dehydrate you, but can affect your decisions poorly come dinner time.
4. It’s okay to say “No Thank You”. No one should be mad at you for saying no thanks. You don’t have to say “oh I don’t eat things like that”, just say “no thank you” politely (if you really feel guilty just say you are allergic ;)). I have gotten really good at saying no thank you, all you have to do is visit an all-inclusive resort in Mexico and your “no thank you” skills really improve ;)).
5. Bring your own dish. Just don’t tell anyone it is yours haha (when people think your healthy, they think your food is gross). But we all know it’s not! This way you know you will have at least one clean choice.
6. You don’t have to say no to your Grandma’s favorite pie. You just don’t have to eat the whole thing. If you deny yourself a piece of pie at the time, you will only crave it more later. Make sure you haven’t over eaten to begin with, and enjoy a small slice of your favorite dessert. If you are full after your supper, you can always enjoy it later in the evening and hit the gym later ;).
7. Go for an after supper stroll. If you are able to, throw on your sneaks and go for a quick 15 minute walk after supper, this can be beneficial if the dessert table is still tempting you (even after a slice of pie). It will take your mind off of food and place it on the great outdoors.
If you have any tips that work for you please feel free to share them here. It’s always nice to have others input and what works for them. That goes for any post, please feel free to share any input and information. We are all here because of our joint desire to better ourselves, and to support each other!
Of course I have to share a couple of holiday recipes you can share with your family.
I hope you get a chance to make one or more of these recipes this Easter weekend or next holiday! Enjoy and Happy Easter!!