It’ll be Jan. 1 before you know it, and guess what? You’re going to post that same old Instagram status on New Year’s Day (“2023 is MY year!”) like you always do, while making that mental checklist to start eating better and getting in shape. The beginning of the year is when gym membership spikes – but they also drop off by March or April when people are back to normal, because people are often challenged by the task of eating right and exercising regularly. We are all at fault for overeating during the holidays, so BLAC offers these tips to pay attention and make it a habit to think before you eat. We asked noted local nutritionist, Dr. Velonda Thompson, for advice on starting a routine before that big holiday meal.
Get in the habit now of drinking water, Thompson says. “Begin the day with water and end the day with water. Your water intake should be half your body weight in ounces,” she says. (So if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be consuming 100 ounces of water daily.) And, Thompson says, “Beverages like tea don’t count. It has to be water.” Some more dietary advice:
1Don’t come to the dinner table starving
Too often for the big meal, we wait to eat. “But if you come to the meal absolutely famished, you’ll most likely overeat,” Thompson says.
“Your body is always looking for something else,” Thompson says, so she recommends snacking on trail mix, fruits or veggies.
2Be mindful about portion control
Holiday meals are when we tend to treat grandma’s kitchen like an all-you-can-eat buffet. That’s a no-no. Make sure there’s some white space on your plate. You don’t want to cover every inch of the plate with food.
3Eat like a rainbow.
Let’s see some color on your plate, not just browns and beige, but more reds and greens. Fruits and vegetables come in array of colors, but the colors have the maximum vitamins and minerals in them, so make your plates colorful and be conscientious and purposeful about it.
4It’s OK to snack, but again, be mindful.
Some foods are made for meals and some are made for snacking. Know when to leave the table and take to-go containers for snacking later on, and for the next day. There’s nothing like holiday meal leftovers.