Gretchen Rubin

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.

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