Woman's Day magazine's December 2011 issue

How to Fight the Urge to Overeat Over the Holidays—or in the New Year

Woman's Day magazine's December 2011 issue

Woman's Day magazine's December 2011 issue

Fighting the battle of the bulge this holiday season? Though temptation is all around, you can win with strategies as simple as using a larger fork.

From now until New Year’s Day, when we swear we’re going to get back into shape, we’re going to be tempted with all manner of foods, drinks and desserts at family tables and holiday parties with friends.

But don’t feel like you just have to give up and give in. According to several studies, you do have options other than overindulging–and they don’t require the world’s strongest willpower.

Woman’s Day magazine’s December issue detailed five strategies for regaining your energy after a big meal–or for fighting the urge to splurge. Some of the obvious were getting in a morning workout, but nothing more than a brisk walk.

Other tips, like eating a big breakfast rich in protein and potassium or loading up on veggies, are pretty common-sense ways to stave off your typical holiday gluttony. Even drinking green tea (unsweetened and caffeinated) can fill you up like water does, plus it’s said to boost metabolism as well.

If it’s too late to enact those, spice things up by adding cayenne peppers, hot peppers and hot sauce to meals or condiments and spreads, like mayo and hummus. It’ll cut the urge to indulge and help you burn a few extra calories.

Another interesting strategy was mentioned in the November/December issue of Eating Well magazine. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that diners who used larger forks (as opposed to smaller ones) were less prone to overeat, thanks to visual cues.

According to the research, those using larger forks would appear to eat more quickly and thus eat less. Those using smaller forks tended to eat more since it looked as though they hadn’t made as much progress cleaning their plates.

While the study was conducted at an Italian restaurant, it couldn’t hurt to do a little research of your own over the holiday season–or even well into the new year.