Eating well over the holidays

By: Primacy Dietitians, Dec 21, 2009
  Article
holiday eating, holiday treats, holiday diets, eating healthy over the holidays

Don’t let the holidays sabotage your healthy eating habits

For many of us, the holiday season can be an exciting yet stressful time… especially when it comes to maintaining our waistline! But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue your healthy eating habits during the festive season.

Try these trips to help you stay on track even when faced with the ultimate temptations posed during the holiday season.

Do not skip a meal. It is tempting to skip a meal to “save up” for your office dinner party or Christmas meal. However, skipping a meal will only cause you to overeat at the next meal and take in excess calories. Eat a healthy snack or meal every three to four hours to keep up your metabolism and prevent over-indulgence. Try a handful of nuts and some fruit, a fruit smoothie, hummus and carrots, or cottage cheese and some cucumber.

Make time for exercise during the holidays. Daily exercise will help to maintain your weight and reduce the effects of giving in to that second helping of Christmas dessert. So start moving and enjoy the winter wonderland! Why not take a walk with your family after dinner, play a pick-up game of road hockey or hit the slopes for an afternoon of fun and activity?

Plan your plate. At buffet parties, fill your plate first with vegetables and fruits. Socialize away from the table to avoid nibbling all night. Try and limit yourself to a very small sampling of your favourite desserts and high-fat foods.

Lighten up. Lighten up your meals at home to balance the heavier meals that you may have at your holiday celebrations. Serve up homemade vegetable soups, salads with lean meats and proteins or have sandwiches on whole-grain bread loaded with veggies instead of ordering in.

Treat yourself. You can still enjoy your favourite foods and desserts throughout the holiday. Just choose smaller portions and store treats out of sight.

Reality check. Focus on maintaining your weight rather than trying to lose weight during the holiday season. Trying to lose weight might add too much pressure, causing you to binge eat. If you do end up putting on a few extra pounds, go easy on yourself and focus on shedding the extra pounds when your schedule returns to normal.

Primacy Dietitians is a panel of dietitians who are all members of the Dietitians of Canada.