It’s that time of year again; time for pies, potlucks, and more cookies then any one person should eat in a lifetime. This mass overflow of food begs the question, “how can I enjoy myself without completely blowing my diet?” Though there’s no easy answer here because it really comes down to will power and restraint more than anything else. One of the few things that you can do to limit the excess weight gain is learn to properly portion your foods. Now, this doesn’t mean loading up one plate with salad, another plate with ham, and a third plate with desserts, it means controlling portions in order to maintain your diet the best you can.
The biggest issue that we all face during the holidays is an extremely wide variety of foods with a calorie makeup that can’t be calculated efficiently. From oils, butter, creams, sugar, and different cooking styles, the only thing to do is learn to estimate to the best of our ability. This is why I’ve included a chart from the Dairy Council of California, which is pictured below:
As you can see, you can use your hand to guess correct portion sizes which in turn can help you stay lean during the season of gluttony. You still have to keep a conscious thought on how much food you should be consuming and then line it up with your goals and macro intake but this should help make the equation easier.
Even with this cheat sheet, self control is a must and is normally the hardest part of any diet so use proper judgement when choosing which foods you’ll be consuming and enjoy yourself. After all, this is the happiest time of the year!