Holiday season is here, hurray! It is a wonderful time of year of seeing friends and family, gift giving and happiness. It also means a lot of social gathering and parties to attend. For me this also means a large variety of food choices that I usually can avoid most times of the year.
Normally we say “variety is the spice of life” but during the holiday season variety can be what tips the scales, and not in the right direction. Research has been shown that the variety of food choices can have a huge effect on the amount of food we eat. The more options you have in front of you, translates into more food on your plate and then in your tummy. This basic principle can work for you or against you, depending on what types of foods you surround yourself with.
Surrounding yourself with a variety of healthy, lower calories foods like fruits and vegetables, means you can double and maybe even triple your consumption of these foods. In return consuming more fruits and vegetables can lower your overall intake and calories for the day. But let’s be real, when was the last time you were at a holiday party with lots of fruits and vegetables?! Normally at holiday gatherings we are surrounded by a larger variety of high calorie foods like desserts, and savory snacks. We fool ourselves at
gathering like this saying “I will just have a small taste of everything”, well sooner or later that small taste can add up to hundreds of unwanted calories. This is where “The Rule of 3s” comes in.
The “Rule of 3s” I always remember during Christmas because Jesus had 3 gifts brought to him by the wise men and I can have 3 types of foods to enjoy at this party.
Rule of 3s’ Steps to Success:
(1) When you first arrive at the party locate the vegetables and fruit in the room. Fill a plate with fruit and vegetables and enjoy as you are first socializing.Once you complete your fruit and vegetables plate, wait about 10 minutes before you select any other food choices.
(2) When the 10 minutes has passed, scan the room, buffet, menu etc. From your options select any 3 food choices you would like. It can be any combination of meats, seafood, side dishes or desserts.
(3) Using a small plate (check out my small plate challenge from Thanksgiving), take a reasonable portion of the 3 items you have selected, and only consume those three items.
(4) Once you are finished put it down your plate, grab yourself a low-calorie beverage and continue to enjoy your time at the party. If you feel you are still hungry, head back for some more fruits and vegetables, and remind yourself “you just had 3 foods that you really wanted and you enjoyed them!”
It is unrealistic to deprive yourself completely at parties and socially gatherings, but by creating a boundaries on the number of types of foods you are “allowed” to consume leads to less variety and hopefully less weight gain during the holiday season. I challenge you to use the “Rule of 3s” at your next social gathering.