Gathering around the table to enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal is one of the greatest joys of the holiday season. But all too often, turkey and pumpkin pie lead to overeating – or eating too many foods that aren’t normally part of your low-oxalate diet. This year, enjoy your holiday meal even more with these five tips to eat in moderation.
Know Your Portion Sizes
Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to your plate. Portion sizes have increased over the decades, which means Americans are accustomed to eating more at each sitting than experts recommend. Identifying basic portioning rules before a holiday feast can help you eat less.
Use your hand or common objects to help estimate portions:
- One serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards
- One 3-oz serving of chips or pretzels is the size of a tennis ball
- One serving of cheese is the size of six dice
- Two tablespoons of peanut butter is the size of a ping-pong ball
Strive for Variety
As the old saying goes, variety is the spice of life, and that adage certainly applies to your meals. Filling your plate with small portions of foods in a variety of colors, textures and flavors can help you eat in moderation and resist after-meal cravings.
Much like daily meal planning, prepping your brain and your stomach for a holiday meal can help you eat in moderation and avoid overindulgence. First, find out what types of food will be served. If you’ll be dining out, review the menu online to discover what types of meals the restaurant serves. For parties at home, ask the host or hostess what kind of food will be available. Once you’re armed with menu options, you can plan how much or what types of food you’ll consume. You may also choose to bring your own low-oxalate foods or use Nephure™* as directed on the packaging, especially if the meal will be oxalate-packed.
Drink More Water
Water is essential to kidney health, but also can help you eat in moderation during your holiday meals. Water in lieu of oxalate-packed teas or empty calorie-laden sodas can aid in digestion and help reduce your appetite by making you feel fuller, faster. Try adding lemon or other low-oxalate fruits like strawberries or cranberries to give your plain water an extra kick.
Mindfulness while dining is another way to help you eat in moderation. On the surface, eating slowly helps you better enjoy the flavors of your meal and allows you to participate in conversations around the table. But slow eating also helps your brain assess your fullness; your stomach will signal your brain to stop eating once you’ve had enough, and you’ll avoid the uncomfortable feeling of overeating.
With these tips, you’ll be able to eat in moderation and stick to your low-oxalate diet at holiday parties and meals!