Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Strategy: Don't save your calories for dinner!

One of the most common holiday strategies is to save up calories for dinner. It's also one of the least wise.

So first the thinking behind the budgeting. People believe that by saving their daytime calories by skipping meals or eating light then they'll have more caloric room for their indulgent dinners.

Of course as a consequence they'll also show up at their dinners hungry.

That's a problem.

You see hunger affects choice. Think about the last time you hit the supermarket hungry. You almost certainly bought different foods.

Sit down to a meal hungry and now you're shopping from your plate, and in the case of a festive meal, from an table full of dietary extravagances.

Chance are your portions will be larger, you might well have seconds and you won't skimp on dessert.

But what if you weren't particularly hungry when you sat down?

Well then you'd be able to thoughtfully navigate the table. You likely wouldn't need or want seconds and you'd have much greater control over how much dessert you ultimately had.

I'd bet not showing up hungry would likely save you a minimum of 1,500 calories and in order to not show up hungry chances are that would only cost you on the order of 400-800 calories of ensuring you snack between meals and don't skimp on your breakfast and lunch portions.

Seems to me spending 800 calories to save 1,500 calories seems like a much wiser plan.

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  1. Good post doc!

    Not to mention that eating more meals keeps your metabolism firing, and eating less meals sends your metabolism in to starvation mode.

    That's the thing I dont understand about the points system with WW. I like WW though, at least it gets people looking at labels. Although your post the other day showed how off labels are sometime :-/

  2. Anonymous9:03 am

    My own personal strategy is to eat holiday meals only at my in-laws, who are quite possibly the worst cooks ever. I actually lose weight when I dine there.

  3. ^^^^^^^ that is awesome lol

  4. I will eat will this holiday.., the foods are great, I don't need to worry about my calories intake.

  5. True story. I don't know who came up with the starve yourself to save yourself for the feast strategy, because it fails every time.