Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Monday, November 24, 2014

Avoiding Overeating During the Holidays

Monday, November 24, 2014 | 9:00 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , No comments
By Meghann McMillan


The holidays are quickly approaching and the motto tends to be “eat, drink, and be merry”. Thanksgiving with the family, friendsgiving with the friends, Christmas parties, Hanukah celebrations, New Years Eve...the next month is loaded with evens that tend to revolve around lots of food and drink. Many people surrender to the fact that they are going to gain some holiday weight, and simply over indulge in it all. This year, don’t surrender to overeating during the holidays. You can have your pumpkin pie and eat it too, if you pay attention to your intake and portion sizes.

Lets start with appetizers, the typical first course that no one can pass up as the hunger of the main course starts to set in. No need to shy away from the wonderful app table, just make sure you keep it to just a taste. Use a napkin or a small plate to place your food on. If it doesn’t fit on it, you don’t need it. Try just one of the appetizers you like. If there are too many to chose from, cut one in half so you can have a taste. Appetizers are something that hold you over for the big meal and the trick is to not fill up on this course, and to avoid extreme calorie intake.
Extra Tip: Make sure the meal before the celebration is a light one.

Moving on to the main course, again you can have all the things you’ve been waiting all year to eat, just do it in moderation. A great way to keep your portions down is to use a smaller plate. This way you don’t over eat by over filling an extra large plate. Even with a small plate, it is important to keep portion sizes in mind. Here is a portion size guide to help you...

•  1 serving of turkey is 3 oz, about the same size as a deck of playing cards
•  A serving of gravy is 1/4 of a cup, about the size of a golf ball
•  A serving of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, applesauce is 1/2 cup, about the size of a tennis ball cut in half
•  A serving of cranberry sauce is about 1/4 of a cup, about the size of a golf ball
•  A serving of stuffing is a 1/2 cup, about the size of an ice cream scoop or a tennis ball cut in half
•  Want butter on your Thanksgiving roll? A serving is a teaspoon, about the size of a single die
•  A serving of raw vegetables is 1 cup, about the size of a baseball
•  A serving of cooked vegetables is 1/2 cup, about the size of a tennis ball cut in half
•  1 latke is about the size compact disk

If you still have room for dessert, keep in mind that a proper serving size of a slice of pie is about the size of a standard light bulb. If desserts are already portioned out, you could always cut a serving in half to enjoy. Taking your dessert home for later is another great way to avoid over eating during your celebration feast.

To top of off your perfectly portioned holiday, take an after meal walk (weather permitting), to make sure you are putting out some energy that you are putting in.

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