The holiday season is a time to enjoy the pleasure of family and friends, and yes, food and drink. These tips will help you celebrate the festive season without feeling deprived, anxious or guilty about your food and beverage choices.
If you enjoy Christmas baking, freeze the extras or give some away to friends and family.
Continue to eat three, balanced meals throughout the day, even if you are going out for dinner or to a holiday party. Restricted eating during the day often results in overeating or making less healthy choices later on.
Whether it is a meal or appetizers, always remember to fill ½ your plate with fruits and vegetables and eat these foods first.
Enjoy the flavour of fresh/natural foods without a lot of added sauces, gravies and dips.
When at a cocktail party, socialize in a different room, away from the food table. It’s easier to avoid temptation when food is not at an arm’s length.
Don’t feel you have to try everything at a buffet. Instead, check out all of the offerings first. Then select a few of your favorite foods that you don’t usually eat at other times of the year.
Offer to bring something to a dinner or party so that you can be sure there will be some healthy options available as well. A veggie tray with hummus dip or fruit platter with yogurt would be great choices.
If you are worried about offending your host by not sampling all of his/her treats, ask for a doggie bag and take some home for your family.
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Try to alternate each drink with a non-alcoholic drink. Choose drinks with a lower alcohol content such as a wine spritzer or light beer.
Stay hydrated. Choose healthier beverages such as mineral water with lime or a splash of cranberry juice, instead of sugary beverages like pop or eggnog.
Eat mindfully. Slow down and savour the flavour, smell, texture and sound of the food you are eating. Make your meal last at least 20 minutes. Give your brain time to get the message from your stomach that you are full before rushing back for seconds.
Relax and enjoy your favorite foods. Try following the 80/20 rule throughout the holidays. Eat foods that nourish your body most of the time, but give yourself permission to eat moderate amounts of foods that nourish your soul as well. After all, you only get to eat Grandma’s shortbread cookies once a year!
Don’t fret if you eat too much at Christmas dinner. Normal eating means sometimes eating until you feel stuffed, simply because the food is delicious!
Look for fun ways to be active over the holidays. Bundle up and go out for a walk or enjoy activities like skating, skiing or tobogganing.
Set some healthy eating goals for after the holidays. That way when you get off track, you will have a plan for the New Year!