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Planning Saves Calories and Dollars

November 17, 2011

Continuous tiny tastes of food throughout the coming days do not make a difference in the short run, but little bits from now through the New Year can result in unwelcome weight gains.

Alice Henneman from the University of Nebraska has a short video, Tiny Tastes Can Total Big Calories over the Winter Holidays, that show how bites can add up to excess pounds.

During the holiday season I find it hard to resist sampling the food I am preparing or baking.  Plus, there are more special social occasions with great food.

I think being mindful of the problem is a great first step.  Here are a few strategies I have used to curb my tendency for taking many tiny tastes:

  • Chew gum when cooking or baking.
  • Volunteer to take fruit and vegetable trays to family dinners and parties to ensure that I have something healthy to snack on.
  • Be the last in the food line, taking a plate of food, eating it, and moving out of reach from the buffet table.
  • Select one favorite holiday treats to take to all the events I plan to attend, spend one day making and then freezing them.  Then I stay out of the kitchen and spend time decorating or making non-food presents.
  • Tell myself that food tasting in public is not safe.
  • Commit to writing every bite down so I can see what I have consumed.

Buying gifts for the holidays can also get out of control: buying presents here and there, trying to balance the amounts you have spent for each person and then buying more to even things out.  For me, developing a strategy for buying presents includes, taking time to make a gift list, budget for each gift, and brainstorm ideas before you go to the store.

I would love to hear your strategies for saving calories or dollars this holiday season.

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  1. My family chooses to enforce a $10 limit on gifts for Christmas, and they have to be second hand or homemade. In the past we’ve done things like, canned fruit or salsa, homemade cutting boards, potted plants, framed pictures, etc…