Christmas Conundrums: Sneaky snacks
‘Just one (more) won’t hurt’….
They say when we’re pregnant we tend to eat for two, but at this time of year most of us eat for ten as we embark on about four weeks of a non-stop eating fest! Not only do our social calendars fill, we are often more stressed, more distracted and less mindful.
- We eat 35% more when we eat with one person compared to eating alone. Eating with a group of seven or more means that we will likely eat 96% more.
- Being distracted is associated with a 50% increase in calorie consumption.
- Social gatherings often involve snacks served in large serving bowls. Doubling the size of snack bowls has been shown to lead to a 53% increase in consumption, while easy to eat foods can lead to a 35% increase in consumption.
Increased snacking is an unfortunate reality of Christmas for most of us, so to make seasonal snacking a little more manageable, here are a few tips:
- Have something small to eat before going out. That way you wont be as tempted to snack or as hungry by the time the food is served.
- Move away from the snacks! Research shows that standing at least 6 feet away from snack foods is associated with a 125 kcal reduction in consumption.
- Don’t bury the evidence! When we throw away the evidence of how many lollies, chicken drumsticks, nuts, or other foods, we end up eating more. Keep these leftovers visible if possible.
- When attending social gatherings where you can bring a contribution, take a large platter of chopped vegetables for snacks with you. That way you will have healthy options, as well as being able to contribute in a helpful way to the event (that will actually be extremely popular).
- Make trade-offs – if you have lots of social events or you know you have had some snack heavy days, reduce portion sizes of meals on other days and increase exercise.
The snacks might be more prevalent at Christmas, but they don’t have to take toll on your waistline! At your next Christmas party, what can you do to stay focused and manage mindless snacking?