Feast without going overboard

PHOTO: Feast without going overboard

Is it possible? It's only human, as they say, to want everything. During the holidays and in the midst of celebration, one is often confronted with a serious dilemma. Feast or fast? Party or penance? Believe it or not, there is a way to both indulge your cravings while watching the waistline.

Here are some practical ways to treat yourself without being sorry for indulging your whims.

1. Fiber up-Any food that is high in fiber is your best defense against weight gain. If you load up on vegetables and low-sugar fruits, you are well on your way to eating guiltlessly.

2. Location, location-When at a buffet, stand in the middle, not at the start or end of the long table. Why? Because this is the best vantage point from where you can scan the spread. Like a radar, your eyes should sweep through the table to zero in on the good offerings. By good, I mean healthy.

Some people have the habit of lining up where everyone is; thus, if your hunger pangs attack while you are at the end of the line, the tendency is to pile up your plate with the first thing you see. Normally, it's the carbohydrates, like pasta and rice. You know the rest of the story-by the time you reach the vegetables, your plate is too full to accommodate anything else. Unless you do the worst thing which is to get a second plate.

3. Don't go for seconds-That is a law that should not be broken. Never stand up again to return to the buffet, unless it's to go for your main course. Once is enough. Going back to reach out for more food is a great injustice to your waistline. Eating many little things is better than eating a lot of the heavy fare.

4. Take your time-It takes 18-20 minutes for your brain to receive signals from the stomach that it is full. So, eat at leisure, not in haste. Fast eaters tend to eat more and gain faster than slow eaters, who take their time to munch on their food.

5. Be chatty at mealtime-It's true! Talkative people tend to neglect the food on their plate, finding the table conversation more delicious than the banquet itself. So be charming, curious and engaging. It helps keep you slim.

Bitter foods

Bitter foods

6. Go for the bitter-Much as it may seem unappetizing to some, eating bitter foods help neutralize the sugars contained in your meal. For instance, sweet-and-sour pork has sugar, and so do certain gravies, sauces, dips and salad dressings. The bitter/sour helpers are watercress, bitter gourd (ampalaya), arugula, green mango, green guavas, green apples.

Remember: If you keep your sugar levels stable, then chances are you will not gain weight.

7. Spice up!-The more chili you eat with your meal, the faster your metabolism moves to burn the calories. Try to have 2 tbsp of chili sauce on the side. I confess to consuming 2-3 tbsp of chili sauce every mealtime. But that's because I enjoy chili so much that a meal cannot be complete without it.

8. Compensate-If you decide to indulge today beyond your limit, then make up for it on your next meal by holding back on your portions.

9. Think small-Small portions are better than big ones. This way, you can eat a little bit of everything. Remember, food can be your friend unless you turn it into an enemy. And that's why they call a banquet a feast. You can feast on anything without going overboard.

10. Love yourself now-It's never too late to express love to yourself through kindness. Being kind to your body is one of the greatest demonstrations of love. True kindness translates to eating nutritious, healthy food.

11. Love others-Preparing a banquet that offers everyone a range of food choices that cater to their lifestyles and preferences is likewise love demonstrated through thoughtfulness. So be a thoughtful and considerate host. You will be better appreciated for this. After all is said and done, here's a detox salvo.

Cleansing Tonic

5 slices of fresh ginger

1 whole green apple

1 whole singkamas

1 whole sugarbeet

Juice and drink up!