Practice Moderation with High-Glycemic, Special-Occasion Foods

Moderation is more important than ever during special occasions such as holidays, parties, and vacations. Creating a balance of low- and high-glycemic foods on your plate when faced with these challenges can be difficult — but not if you have a strategic plan of action for achieving moderation.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how to find moderation with your meals on special occasions:

  1. Scan the area and make a note of all the available high-glycemic, high-calorie foods you love.

  2. Pick your top three most-loved foods from that list.

    Whatever you do, don't skip this step! Often when you give yourself the okay to eat everything in sight, you wind up overindulging on items you may not even like that much. Pick your favorites instead of trying a little of everything.

  3. Only eat the high-glycemic, high-calorie foods that made your top-three list.

    As you try to focus on eating your top-three foods, you may discover that you love lots of different foods that aren't so good for you.

    This party/holiday gathering/vacation isn't the last time you can have these foods. You're living a low-glycemic lifestyle, not following a strict diet, so you aren't going to be deprived of all of these foods. You can have them at a later date — and should in moderation, of course.

    For now, either encourage yourself to stick to your top-three foods and eat smaller portions of these or get your very top favorite so you can eat a little more of this food.

  4. Now scan the area for your favorite low-glycemic, low-calorie foods.

    Maybe you really love a tossed greens salad, but you have a mental block against eating it at a party or ordering it on vacation. To conquer a mental block, simply ask yourself one question: Do you really enjoy this particular low-glycemic, low-calorie food? If so, you'll likely enjoy it just as much as your higher-glycemic picks.

  5. Slow down and enjoy your food.

    The faster you eat, the less satisfied you'll be — and the more you'll want. You'll feel more satisfied if you slow down your eating and really take the time to enjoy your food.

By following these five steps, you can still indulge in all of your favorite foods on special occasions — without wasting calories and increasing your blood sugar over foods you don't really love. Think of it as retraining your brain to eat what you love instead of munching on something because it's there.

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