3 Lessons I learned at Christmas Dinner
It’s a day after holiday dinner (any holiday) and you’re thinking of all the binging and all those sweets you had last night. You’re thinking that this is a total setback and the efforts and sleepless nights that you had planning out your future self, just took a major hit.
Well, I tend to be dramatic when I describe this stuff, just because it will sound silly to your subconscious and you won’t really believe that a year’s effort is destroyed by one single meal. Even if it’s an extra big one.
So how was my Christmas dinner?
Well, it was really great as I sat down with all those people, had all this food and felt so happy and a little bit like a pig. I ate seriously, way too much.
So besides that whole binging, I started thinking if I prepared somehow myself for this meal or if there’s was something I could do better for it. Then immediately I thought that the Dutrition Blog readers would benefit from these little lessons that came to my mind while drinking tea at the aftermath of my Christmas dinner.
These next lessons are going to help you fit “sinful” holiday dinners into your bigger plan.
Lesson #1 Fast the Day before
It may seem counter-intuitive to some people because they think that fasting will make you more hungry during the day of the dinner.
Actually, fasting the day before is kinda making your stomach respond to this state, hence making you feel full easier than what you were used to. Yes, our body is that efficient that by one day of fewer calories and fasting, it can alter your feeling of hunger and fullness.
So the next day you will be primed for less eating.
Lesson #2 Prioritize
Proteins should come first. Eat as much turkey or stuffed chicken roll as you want. These are probably the most protein dense foods on the table so make sure they make a big part of your holiday dinner.
Veggies (vegetables) should come second. If there’s any salad, especially if it has not much dressing, try to eat more than anyone else on the table.
Any type of salad will make the cut and you will be getting all those micronutrients your body needs. Pretend you’re a grass fed sheep and eat the whole salad bowl.
I am stressing the fact of eating too much because the goal is to feel really full. Try to reach a somewhat uncomfortable point.
This may sound too much to some people. But remember that holiday dinner tables are full of calorically dense foods (too many calories in small portions).
Stuffing is the perfect example. Trust me, I haven’t eaten butter in a while, so I have developed a sensitivity to it. When I had a spoonful of stuffing, I could literally taste the butter. Try to avoid it in the beginning.
When you reach the feeling of full, eat whatever makes you feel good.
It’s not a figure of speech. Pick the foods that you really crave and eat only those. Avoid every single food that doesn’t make you drool, not even an ounce of it.
There is a hidden trick in here. Your brain will associate eating that food with a feeling of discomfort (that is actually coming from eating all those veggies and protein).
It may sound silly at first, but if you lay down this kind of ground rules, your brain will operate properly in the auto mode.
Avoid drinking calories. Maybe it is just me but I don’t have any cravings for cocktails or eggnogs, it’s a caloric crime to drink this stuff. Water is your best friend and maybe some dry wine.
Drink lots of fluid as it will help you get full sooner.
Last Lesson, STOP thinking about food
I am so happy and so grateful to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, especially due to our food. Greek kitchen has probably the most nutritious and tasty recipes. Especially, when it comes to Christmas I have to admit of my most notable sin of eatings tons of “melomakarona”.
It is easily my favorite type of treat. Here’s a recipe from Akis that you can definitely try out if you want to make some of your own. If you’re not from Greece I urge you to make some “melomakarona” right away.
Still, I believe that food isn’t there to give us pleasure but to let us enjoy the real pleasures of life.
This is the best time of the year to make resolutions for the next one.
Start with LISTENING more, to people around you.
I am pretty sure there are people around you, in a holiday dinner that you may have mistreated in the past or you just didn’t care enough to listen to them.
No, it’s not the “holiday spirit” talking, I am talking from a self-development perspective.
By listening, you develop empathy. By developing empathy, you know better how to sell yourself and your ideas to other people.
Technically this can be translated as this:
“Listening to other people makes you more efficient in life.”
Isn’t that great?
That’s all for today. Come on it’s the holidays!
I got some
stuffing turkey leftovers to eat.
Did you have any AHA moments while at the dinner table? Let me know in the comments.