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Holiday Eating Tip: Eating in Groups

The holidays are approaching which means all of us healthy eaters need to be armed to go into holiday meals with our best tricks up our sleeve.

In light of this and because it's time to start thinking about the holidays, offers some great tips and tricks for surviving holiday meals. Here are highlights:

  • Sit next to the slowest eater at the table and match that person’s pace
  • Always have some food left on your plate to forestall the “one more helping” impulse
  • Decide how much you will eat before the meal takes place
  • Be the last person to begin eating
  • Limit your meal to the entree plus a maximum of two items, with dessert, appetizer, bread and so forth constituting an item each


Join The Conversation
EllaBella EllaBella 9 years
Spectra-- Reading your description of a family Thanksgiving really makes cultural differences between US and Europe huge! I grew up in France and I am pretty sure our christmas dinner would look like a joke for an average american... Yes we do eat more but we were nowhere near stuffing our face, we just enjoy taste more than quantity!!!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
EllaBella--obviously you've never had Thanksgiving with my family! People eat heaps and heaps of mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn souffle, green bean casserole, pie (most people eat 2 pieces!), rolls, and lots of soda and wine. I'm probably the only one in my family that eats sensibly at Thanksgiving...then again, I'm also the only one in my family without a weight problem ;)
maddiemay maddiemay 9 years
How about enjoying the Holiday and being thankful--- indulge in all and then get back to the norm--well not till leftovers are all gone! :-)
EllaBella EllaBella 9 years
Really those tips were weird! What is CalorieLab thinking? Those tips look like they think that everybody is a compulsive overeater! I mean it's not because there is a lot of food on the table that you have to show great determination not to stuff your face or start binging! I think the average person is sensible and eat a normal amount of food even in front of a table loaded with food...
insanitypepper insanitypepper 9 years
Thanksgiving is about celebrating that are fortunate to have food on our tables. It's definitely not a day for deprivation! And, seriously, two sides, including dessert? How about I substitute dessert for the entree and skip the dried out turkey...
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
I think the best advice is to eat exactly what appeals to you. Indulge what you like to eat because it's the holidays, and stop when you're full.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Well, so much for me sitting by the slowest eater. My mom always assigns us our spots at the table and I always sit by my husband (aka, the human vacuum). I usually fill about half my plate with salad and then get some turkey and I only eat a little of my favorite sides (I'm sorry, but just because there are candied yams on the table doesn't mean I'm eating them. I don't like them. I would rather savor the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole). I also help clean up and serve coffee after the meal so I'm not too tempted to take a bunch of seconds, lol.
AMP AMP 9 years
"Limit your meal to the entree plus a maximum of two items, with dessert, appetizer, bread and so forth constituting an item each." hahaha, yeah right!
girlgreen girlgreen 9 years
i totally agree that it's one day and what's the big deal, but i think i am going to try the smaller plate thing. i want to make it a habit beyond thanksgiving as well. i definitely eat less when i use smaller plates, but i should do it more, because to me it is a totally easy way to cut calories.
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
I always like to use the lunch sized plates not the dinner ones. I eat less that way. We only have 2 of them at our house, I really need to get more.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I am the slowest eater ever. My tips. Dont go for the big plate, go for a smaller plate. It will look like you have alot of food, but you dont!
hottpink hottpink 9 years
It's kinda of easy for me to not over indulge because I am a veg. and most of the people in my family are not, so almost always there are only a few side items that I can eat. Salad, green beans, asparagus, sweet potatoes and my fav...cranberry sauce! It's not to say that I don't eat my fair share of pumpkin pie! :)
mtiger mtiger 9 years's only one meal! I plan to eat a little of everything until I'm full! I'm not going to stress about one meal's calories...who cares?
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
haha as I was reading this I was like DUDE it's ONE day! Then I read the comments and see that others agree! My family always has all the regular stuff, turkey and potatoes etc, but we try to make things a bit healthier, cutting out fat here and there and such. But this is thanksgiving and I'm always grateful for teh wonderful meal!!!
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 9 years
good idea catgirl. I'm not going to spend this 1 day of indulgence by counting how many sides I have and worrying about the calories. i will however enjoy everything I eat, which will therefore help me appreciate my food and help me eat slower. And come oooon it's Thanksgiving! It's the day we're supposed to overeat!
catgirl1 catgirl1 9 years
I agree that it should be okay to indulge for one meal! I don't want to sit at Thanksgiving dinner thinking about how I shouldn't be eating much. I want to enjoy the food and my friends and family. I think my strategy will be to really taste all the food and savor each bite. That way, I won't be eating seconds just because they're there.
almostloli almostloli 9 years
this wont work for me :(
abbyk abbyk 9 years
by 2 items do you mean sides? that would never happen...
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Haha I don't care on holidays. Sorry people but I am enjoying myself for ONE night, I think I'll be ok ;)
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I need to abide by this! Ha.
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