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Food For Thought – Enjoy Yourself Without Overeating this Season

It’s the most…wonderful time, of the year ♫♫♫. Ahhhh, yes. My favorite time of year! December can bring lots of joy and excitement. It can also bring many celebrations, gatherings…, and food! Here are my top nine tips to enjoying yourself without overeating this holiday season.

  1. Give veggies the leading role!

As a Registered Dietitian, veggies are my jam, so I plug them whenever I can! If you’re hosting, offer a couple of veggie side dishes for your guests, or start off with veggies and dip as an appetizer. My favorite go-to sides are roasted Brussel sprouts and lemon garlic green beans.

  1. Fill half your plate with veggies and eat them first!

This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the glazed ham and savoury stuffing, or the roasted turkey and gravy. This just ensures that you don’t fill up on the other more calorie-dense foods before eating your veggies. Veggies tend to be high in nutrients and fibre, which is a winning combination for overall health.

  1. Be mindful.

Being mindful can help you make healthier choices more often. But, what does it mean to be mindful you ask? Take your time and savor each bite. Ask yourself throughout the meal if you’re still enjoying the food you’re eating. If the answer is no, leave the rest and then reevaluate the need for more later.

  1. Don’t skip meals!

Skipping breakfast and lunch to “save” all of your calories for dinner typically leads to overeating. Instead, enjoy a satisfying breakfast and lunch the day of the event.

  1. Eat the foods you love.

Try to be picky at a holiday event and only choose the foods you love, and skip the foods that you can do without. If you’re like me and eggnog doesn’t excite you, then skip it! (I’d rather have red wine any day – haha)

  1. Alternate between water and alcohol.

Speaking of red wine…if you do plan on drinking, try to alternate your beverage with a glass of water. Another tip to reduce your empty calories is to use soda water as a mixer for hard alcohol instead of calorie-laden pop and juices. My vice, if you haven’t already figured it out, is red wine. I try to limit myself to two glasses and savour each sip.

  1. Get active!

Consider incorporating physical activities into your holiday festivities. Sledding, ice-skating, snowshoeing, skiing are all ways to enjoy the outdoors and get active. Even shoveling snow (I know…I’m sorry. I said the word) can be a great way to get your heart pumpin’ and muscles movin’. Don’t like the (cold) outdoors? I’m with you! I tend to stick to the gym for my physical activity in the colder months and I always prioritize a workout on the days I have a holiday event.

  1. Have your cake…and eat it too!

Enjoy dessert. Whatever you fancy. Cake, cookies, pie…the list goes on! There will likely be an endless assortment of them at your holiday events I’m sure. Have some.  Be mindful while you’re eating (tip #3) and enjoy every bite.

  1. Lose the guilt.

You heard me. I know that healthy holiday eating can make people anxious. This should be a time of celebration and relaxation. If you do happen to eat more than you planned this holiday season, don’t beat yourself up about it. More importantly, don’t let it lead you down the path of unhealthy choices. Get back to your healthy eating habits and get a good sweat as soon as you can to release all the happy feel-good endorphins.

Happy holidays to you and yours!



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