By Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas, FIS, PTS
You may have heard this before. “Don’t eat before a meal; you will spoil your dinner”. My tip for the holiday season is exactly that: Spoil your dinner. Yes. Do it.
The key is to slowly change the limiting belief that you need a certain amount of food in order to feel satisfied. You don’t. The only reason why your stomach has a large capacity is to allow your ancestors to store enough food for a few days until they had a chance to hunt their next prey. In our society, food is readily available. We no longer need to wait a few days before getting fed again
The holiday season will present multiple opportunities to overeat and get tempted by foods that aren’t on your healthy-choices’ list. In order to better resist the temptation, have a bowl of soup before going out to a restaurant. Not only will you save money on an appetizer, you will also be able to resist the bread or the platter of deep-fried stuff ordered for the table. If you have eaten already, your order choice will more likely be smaller and healthier than if you are starving.
Keep in mind that you only need a small amount of food when you place your order at the restaurant. Reinforce your internal thoughts by saying to everyone else: “I had a late lunch and I am not really hungry” or “I already had an early dinner”. This will help you avoid comments on the small amount of food you are ordering.
Continually remind yourself of your new belief. Kick the old limiting beliefs: “An appetizer is not enough food for me” or “An entrée is not enough, I need to order an appetizer too”. Repeat instead: “I ate already, so this small appetizer is perfect for me and will be plenty of food.” Change the belief that you need to feel full. You really don’t.
This doesn’t only apply to restaurants. Eating before you go to a friend’s house is also ideal, especially if you know that the place where you are going will have not-so-healthy options. Physically stand away from the buffet and indulge on conversations instead of treats.
The rule also applies for running errands. Always make sure you go grocery shopping on a full stomach. The stores are transformed into giant gingerbread houses at this time of the year and temptations are more irresistible than ever. There is nothing more detrimental than to shop on an empty stomach. When you are hungry, you get tempted by items that are definitively not on your list.
So, go ahead, spoil your dinner!
“The key is to slowly change the limiting belief that you need a certain amount of food in order to feel satisfied.”