This Wednesday: Tips for staying in control of holiday eating.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
This Wednesday…Tips for staying in control of holiday eating.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my eating habits lately—probably because the holiday season is so full of temptation.

Here are some guidelines that I’ve been trying to follow, with various degrees of fidelity.

1. Wear snug-fitting clothes.

2. Buy food in small containers. Studies show that people give themselves larger portions out of larger boxes, so I don’t buy that economy box of pretzels.

3. Make tempting food inconvenient—put cookies in a hard-to-reach spot, set the freezer to a very cold temperature so it’s hard to spoon out ice cream, eat wrapped Hershey’s kisses instead of M & Ms.

4. Order the appetizer size.

5. Use smaller plates, bowls, and cutlery. I often use the Little Girl’s little plastic Disney Princess plates.

6. Dish food up in the kitchen, and don’t bring serving platters onto the table (except vegetables).

7. Pile my plate with everything I intend to eat, and don’t get seconds once that food is gone.

8. Keep serving sizes small: get a small frozen yoghurt instead of a large; get a single hamburger instead of a double.

9. Skip the add-ons: tell the waiter that I don’t want the side of fries, don’t add croutons or bacon to my salad. I feel like Sally from “When Harry Met Sally” as I quibble about how my food should be served, but oh well.

10. After dinner, signal myself that “Eating’s over”: brush my teeth, clean up the kitchen, turn out the lights.

11. Don’t allow myself to get too hungry or too full.

12. Realize that, with some things, I can’t have just a little bit. It’s far easier for me to skip cookies, bagels, and chocolate than it is to have a sensible portion.

13. Never eat hors d’oeuvres.

I’ve realized that although it seems festive and carefree to indulge in lots of treats, in the end, I feel guilty and overstuffed. Which doesn’t make the holiday happier.

Today I came across the blog Positive Sharing, written by Alexander Kjerulf, a/k/a the “Chief Happiness Officer.” He recently posted his book HAPPY HOUR IS 9 TO 5 on his blog–I haven’t had time to take a look at the book yet, but his site has lots of great information about how to be happier at work. I can’t wait to dive in and see what’s there.

Other posts you might be interested in . . .

  • I love the too frozen to eat refrigerator idea for ice cream. I will have to remember that one. All good tips. k

  • Dave

    I recently came across this common sense, low-fi approach to managing one’s weight;

  • I like you.

  • Hi Gretchen,
    This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your Wednesday post, but I thought I would share this. The Economist (my employer) has a cover story on happiness that I think you might find interesting. I’ve included a link to the editorial on the subject –

  • You need a subscription to read the link, but fortunately, I do subscribe. I haven’t received my copy of this issue yet, but a friend called to tell me that happiness is on the cover. That kind of news always makes me panic — will everyone be tired of the subject of happiness by the time my book comes out? Oh well. I have to hope that it’s a topic of perennial interest. Thanks for sending that along to me.
    And thanks Audrey Hill for that succinct and very nice message!

  • Lilly Evans

    Thank you again for interesting link to Alexander Kjerulf, a/k/a the “Chief Happiness Officer.”
    May the good energy and happiness spread in this holiday season and throughtout New 2007 Year to all who read this blog and especially to you Gretchen and your family! Your acts of sharing and kindness have spread far and made many people happy – I with my dear ones are in your debt.
    I hope you will continue with this blog even when the year of the book is ended on 31.12 (or is it 12/31)!

  • lucimama

    I just found your blog … via … huh? I’ve lost it. Maybe Anyway, I came to you by your Tips for Passing Time with Kids. (Great, BTW.)
    When I investigated further and found this entry, I thought you’d want to know about Christine Kane’s blog about “Nervous Food.” —

  • KCCC

    D, I do the No-S diet too. Though it’s a little much to call it a “diet” – it’s more a sensible set of habits that you can live with.