The average Canadian gains between 2 and 10 lbs during the holiday season. Do you have a game plan?
Many people find healthy eating difficult during the holiday season. The holidays revolve around sharing food with friends and family, and temptations are everywhere. The good news is that you can enjoy the holidays without guilt and weight gain. A few indulgences will not sabotage your healthy eating goals. Here are some tips for a guilt-free and healthy holiday.
- Eat your favorite foods
Be picky when choosing which foods to indulge in. Have your favorites, but pass on the other treats. Try indulging in your “must-have” foods 20% of the time, while eating healthy the other 80%.
- Pay attention to portion sizes
Often the problem is not the food being consumed, it is the quantity. Try using a smaller plate and always make sure half of it is filled with vegetables and/or fruit.
- Avoid going back for seconds
It can be tempting to go back for seconds, but try to avoid this unless you are truly still hungry. Instead, try to slow down when you are eating and enjoy each bite.
- Listen to your body
Learn to listen to your body cues. When you are no longer hungry, stop eating. Ask your body whether it wants more because you are still hungry, or if it is because it tastes good. If you are still hungry choose the healthier items on the menu to go back for. Being mindful is the key to avoid overeating.
- Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals can cause overeating later. It is important to keep a consistent healthy eating routine during the holidays. Eating a healthy snack before a party will help curb the appetite and make it easier to make healthy choices.
- Dress for success
During the holiday season it is helpful to wear outfits that are tailored to your body or a bit tight. It is much easier to overeat when you are wearing loose fitting clothing, such a leggings and pants with elastic bands, as they keep stretching right along with you. Wearing fitted pants can help discourage overindulging as it is a constant physical reminder.
- Don’t wait until January to start your New Year’s Resolutions
Instead, make a healthy season resolution. Get a head start on your goals so you do not have more work to do in January by procrastinating.
- Avoid leftovers
Send your guests home with leftovers, or freeze them for a later date. This will reduce temptations and overeating after the party.
- Get moving
With more calories going into the body, it is important to burn more calories. Exercise can also help reduce holiday stress. Strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week.
- Stay hydrated.
Have two glasses of water before each meal, and drink alcohol in moderation. The recommendation for alcohol in moderation is no more than 7 drinks for women and 14 for men per week.
Melissa Goldsmith grew up in Montreal and completed a degree in Hotel Management. She used this degree to work and travel the world. This is how she discovered her passion for food, nutrition and cooking. Melissa obtained her Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition to become a Registered Dietitian. She is dedicated to helping people, which has always shown through her continuous community involvement, both locally and globally.
It is very important to her that people have the education and tools required to live a healthier lifestyle. She is a proud nutrition advocate and strong believer in preventing and treating medical conditions with healthy living education and specifically tailored diets. Melissa believes that real health starts with real food, and not only should it be easy, it should be tasty and fun too!