One of the big reasons why the holidays are so stressful — and why weight loss is such a popular New Year's resolution — is that overeating is common at this time of year. Even as it's happening, eating too much can be a real stressor for people, but it's often hard to say no to delicious food that's been lovingly prepared.
This problem may be a bigger problem for truckers, because for many, it's rare to get a home-cooked meal in the first place, and it's even more tempting to overindulge. The question, then, is how to avoid this pitfall while still enjoying some great food. We have a few suggestions:
1) Be more conscious of what you're snacking on
People love to snack throughout the day, but if you know you have a big meal (or three!) coming up in the next few weeks, it's a good idea to snack healthier, according to Healthline. Instead of having that bag of chips or a candy bar, try some lean meats, cheeses, fruits or vegetables. Those will fill you up without creating potential health issues.
2) Stick with smaller portions
When a big meal arrives, and you want to eat a wide variety of the different foods available, there's no rule against trying everything in moderation, Healthline noted. That way, you're still loading up your plate, but you're only having a little bit of everything, rather than a lot. It's a simple change that takes a bit of self-discipline, but your body will thank you.
3) Don't immediately go back for seconds
If there are some dishes you especially liked during a meal, there's nothing wrong with going back for more, according to Harvard Medical School. Again, moderation is key, but so too is giving yourself time to digest what you've eaten. Taking even half an hour between servings can do you more good than you might think.
4) Treat a big meal like it's food shopping
When the holidays approach, it's always a good idea to think about the No. 1 rule of grocery shopping: Don't go on an empty stomach, Harvard Medical School said. The same thing applies to those big holiday meals. If you show up really hungry, you're more likely to overeat. Have a healthy snack beforehand and you'll set yourself up for more success.
5) Eat vegetables first
When there are a lot of different dishes available, it can be tempting to go for the ones that are least healthy first, but experts say it's better to do the opposite, according to Self. Start with the vegetables, and you'll get two benefits. First, you're making sure you actually eat them before you get full. And second, you're going to be a little more full when you're done with the veggies, meaning you won't eat as much of the unhealthy stuff.
6) Take it slow
At this time of year, many people like to eat quickly so they can concentrate on exchanging presents, watching sports or movies on the TV or just spend more time relaxing on the couch, Self added. However, eating quickly isn't a good idea, and it can be nice to linger over a meal and enjoy a quality conversation with loved ones.
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