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Staying in Control at the Big Meal

Big family meals and over eating are inevitable, with Easter and Passover approaching. We all know the discomfort of eating way too much and feeling bloated. Avoiding this feeling may be easier than you think. These tips may help you prevent overeating, and you may even end up enjoying your celebrations that much more this year.

  1. Do not skip breakfast! I have heard people say, “I’m saving my appetite for tonight!” That is the opposite of what your game plan should be. If you skip breakfast, you will absolutely starving by the time your celebratory meal roles around. This will lead to over eating or “stuffing your face” in a short period of time. Before you know it (about 20 minutes later), you’ll be uncomfortable and bloated!
  2. Graze the appetizers! Preferably the fruit or vegetable-based appetizers! Having a few appetizers will continue to help off set hunger, just like your breakfast. Make sure to have just a few appetizers – don’t over do it!
  3. Drink Water! Choose beverages that provide no calories, or low calories beverages. Staying hydrated will help you avoiding misjudging thirst for hunger.
  4. Eat slowly! Holiday meals are delicious! Fill your plate with all your favorites and enjoy them slowly. Try to take about 20 minutes to finish your meal. It takes your stomach around 20 minutes to signal to your brain that you are full. By the time you’re done eating your meal, your urge for second helpings will have disappeared! This may be the biggest key to avoiding overeating!
  5. Fruit, Fruit, Fruit! The dessert spread may be so appealing! Pick small or bite size portions of the decadent desserts and fill the remainder of your small plate with fruit, fruit and more fruit. The fiber and liquid in the fruit will satisfy your appetite and help you avoid too much sugary dessert.

By Gia Diakakis, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC