It’s true, the holidays can be treacherous for your waistline during the holidays, and even worse for the rest of your health. This is the time to enjoy the festive flavours, scents, and sounds, but it does not need to be a time that changes your health for the worse. It is actually quite simple to keep your eating and weight in check throughout the holiday season, while enjoying the sumptuous fare.
During the holidays we are faced with an almost overwhelming array of food choices, making healthy eating a challenge. DON’T STRESS, just make conscious choices that enhance your mood and well being. If you follow the tips below, you may even find you lose some weight over the holidays…
Here are 10 simple tips to keep it fun and healthier for your holiday adventures:
- Have a snack or light meal before attending parties and family gatherings.
- Snack on fresh veggies from the buffet table, before you dig in to the sweets or savoury treats.
- Let your eyes feast first. Before eating, walk around to see what is being served. Then take smaller portions of food and eat slowly, to take the edge off your appetite. By the time you are ready for another plate, your stomach will have had time to let your brain know you are feeling fuller and you crave less additional food.
- Visit with friends away from the buffet table. Once you’ve chosen food, take your plate into another another area and enjoy talking with friends. Talking while standing at the snack table often results in snacking on far more than you realize.
- Hold your drink in your right hand if you are right-handed (or left hand if you’re a lefty): This makes it more difficult to reach for food on impulse or unconsciously.
- For sit-down dinners;
- Take 6 deep breaths before starting to eat, and then eat slowly. Take one bite at a time, and chew thoroughly.
- Talk between bites, so your meal will last longer.
- Take smaller portions to start, you can always have a second serving, but this will allow to notice how full you are before having too much supper.
- Lighten up your recipes and increase nutrition:
- Use coconut oil for frying, sautéing or other cooking instead of butter or margarine. It safe for high heat cooking, and has many healthful benefits.
- Use honey (pure, unpasteurized), Sucanat, whole cane sugar or coconut sugar in your cooking and baking and avoid using white sugar, brown sugar or corn syrup.
- Use whole grain flours; such brown rice flour, oat flour, buckwheat and spelt to replace refined white flour.
- Sea salt is a mineral rich, healthy alternative to table salt.
- Put out small serving plates for parties. We tend to fill our plates with food regardless of size.
- Enjoy your food, what ever you choose– There is no need to add more holiday stress. If you overeat, don’t worry; there are many ways to get back on track and the negative thoughts are more harmful than the food itself. Good thoughts will actually help you digest food better no matter what you are eating.
- Remember to take care of yourself. Stay active, and get out for walks or to enjoy the snow before events and outings, as the endorphins released from exercise will cause you to craze healthier foods and less of them making party fare easy to navigate. Get lots of sleep too. Rest and exercise can help you to feel profoundly better.
Enjoy a healthy, happy holiday season!