How My “OCD” Eating Habits Will Save You During Thanksgiving
If any of you have ever eaten with me, you know that I am, shall we say, a picky eater of sorts. Some have even mentioned OCD, which may be a bit of a stretch.
But as this holiday season is approaching I started thinking about my eating habits, and while they are unique, just how they might actually help you eat more sensibly this year.
So, I have decided to share with you all my eating rules and how those rules will help you control your eating during the holidays.
Rule 1: Green Salad First On Its Own Plate - If you have a holiday dinner like ours, no one is going to serve you. You’re on your own, so this rule serves for a lot of useful purposes.
-A small greens salad, and if necessary, applying a SMALL amount of a healthy dressing (oil and vinegar/vinaigrette) will start your meal off with a lot of healthy, nutrient dense, high fiber vegetables, with few calories.
-After eating, you are forced to get up and go back with your dinner plate to get your entrees. This allows you time to feel full. Remember, it takes about 15 min for you to feel full after you eat. Plus, you could burn as much as 15 calories on the walk to the entrees!
Rule 2: Nothing Touches! - Have you ever seen anyone pile his or her plate full of food, on top of more food like a giant food volcano? I can’t stand that. I think its gross; I don’t like anything on my plate to be touching. It weirds me out when things mix. But think about this. How much less can you fit on a plate if nothing can touch? You definitely can’t pile it on which means there are fewer calories to eat from your plate…especially if you get that “there are starving kids in Africa” talk like I do if you don’t clean your plate!
Rule 3: Eat One Thing At A Time - I realize that this is a weird rule too, but eating things in random order feels too much like mixing the food together. I might as well have it touching on the plate too!
Start with the lean protein first, and then the vegetables, saving the worst items for last. This works great because after eating the healthy salad, and getting the lean protein eaten first, your meal could be complete if you get full and it would be healthy. If you are not yet full then move on eating the healthiest things first and saving the worst for last. Hopefully you will become full and only have room for one or two courtesy bites of the greasy casserole dishes, saving you hundreds of calories.
Rule 4: Socialize - Not only is it a great time to catch up with family that you may not see very often, but going back to the 15 min to feel full thing, it can keep you from overeating!
Rule 5: Water - Our brains control center for hunger and thirst (the hypothalamus) is the same. So a lot of times we mistake the feeling of thirst for the feeling of hunger, which causes us to snack, instead of hydrate. So, if you are constantly drinking water before the meal and in between each separate food item you will be sure to stay properly hydrated. It’s also a good way to keep from drinking too much alcohol, which is full of empty calories.