1. Make smart choices with alcohol. If at all possible, eschew the mixed drinks and hoppy beers, many of which are higher in calories than glasses of red wine and may not offer quite the same buzz-for-your-buck, so to speak. A 5-oz glass of red wine (such as a pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon) offers about 125 calories, against about 200 for a 12 bottle or beer or 250 for a rum n’ coke. Just be sure to choose a vegan wine.
2. Choose desserts carefully. Everyone loves dessert. Restricting yourself to no dessert is a recipe for disaster, because even the most stringent person breaks down once in a while, and it may lead to a major pig out session. Instead, limit yourself to a small dessert only a few times a week. If they act as rewards for a job well done – at the gym, for instance – all the better.
3. Schedule your meals. Sticking to a specific dining schedule helps to keep your metabolism and stomach in check. Eat a good, protein-rich breakfast in the morning to help prevent over-eating later in the day, and try to eat lunch and dinner around the same time each day. Nothing wrong with having a few healthy snacks throughout the day – apples are calorie-dense and satisfy the sweet tooth.
4. Don’t do leftovers. Whether you’re making the food and bringing it to see family or having folks over for holidays and parties, make sure there are no leftovers, period. This applies primarily to desserts, as they are usually too hard to resist, but some higher calorie munchies may also make their way into the fridge. It may be easier to follow your normal diet without the distractions of other foods.
5. Use a smaller plate. The average size of dinner plates has increased over the past several decades. The more plate there is to fill, the more food it will take to fill it. Instead, try using medium-sized plates rather than massive dinner trays, and savor every bite. Eating a meal over the course of a 20 minute period will give your stomach, which is kind of dumb, time to realize it is filling with food, leading to less food eaten over time.