I think we all can admit that one of the best and worst things about the holiday is food! While we want to indulge in the delicious meals that the holidays have to bless us with, we also don’t want to go overboard and throw all of our healthy living morals out the window.
Below we’ve compiled some of the best healthy eating tips so you can enjoy the festive foods of the holidays with a sense of control and empowerment.
1) MODERATION is key: You’ve heard it before, but this one is a biggie to keep you on track! You don’t have to go completely without your favourite foods but do stick to smaller portions and eat slowly. This is especially true with high-caloric beverages such as eggnog, wine, beer, pop and punch. Enjoy one of these drinks and then move on to sparkling water.
2) Pre-Holiday Eating Planning: Scan over all your upcoming holiday events to figure out how you will handle your eating choices around those dates. On non-event days, you’ll want to prep healthy meals ahead and schedule in exercise to stay disciplined.
3) The Right Hand: It may sound strange, but hold your drink in your right hand if you are right-handed (vice versa for lefties) as this will make it more difficult to reach for food on impulse at parties and gatherings.
4) Put them in the Freezer: Place cookies or squares baked in advance in the freezer so they are beyond the reach of temptation. Only bring them out only when you need them and try to prepare baked goods into bite-size pieces.
5) Chew away: While baking or cooking, chew a piece of sugar-free gum to ward off impulsive nibbling as you’re less likely to put something else in your mouth when you’re chewing on gum.
6) Lighten Up: Lighten up your favourite recipes with healthier alternatives or substitutions. For instance add flavor to foods with herbs, lemon and light vinaigrette (rather than heavy gravies, butters or creams). Include more vegetables/fruit and cut down on bread in the stuffing. Make sure your vegetables outnumber everything else on your holiday dinner plate.
7) Feast with your Eyes First: Scan your plate to see what is being served before immediately filling up. To take the edge off an excited appetite, go for the healthier options first, such as raw vegetables or clean seafood.
8) Keep Your Distance from the Buffet Table: Try to make the buffet a one-time only stop, being very selective and thoughtful with your food choices. Then, take your plate into another room and focus on engaging with friends and family.
9) Savour and Eat Slowly: Resist the urge to excitedly wolf down your food. For good digestion, chew slowly and thoroughly. Deliberately place your cutlery down and talk between bites, so your meal will last longer. Split dessert with someone else.
10) Snack Healthy before a Party: Suppress your appetite before a party so hunger won’t rule your choices. Opt for some veggies, fruits, yogurt, nuts or some crackers with low-fat cheese.
Berkoff, F. 25 Easy-To-Follow Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating. Retrieved from: http://www.canadianliving.com/health/nutrition/25_easy_to_follow_tips_for_healthy_holiday_eating.php