This holiday season can be a time to enjoy good food and good company. Holiday parties and get-togethers often involve decadent seasonal treats and an abundance of food. Here are some tips to help you still enjoy the holidays while keeping your health in mind.
- Have a snack before the party. Going into a holiday party hungry will make it easier to overeat. Don’t skip meals or try to ‘save up your calories’. Remember, the holidays are not necessarily a time for weight loss, rather, aim for weight maintenance. While it may seem counterintuitive, having a balanced snack with protein and fibre beforehand can help you eat slower when dinner is served, savour your favourites, and leave without feeling overstuffed.
- Choose your favourites. Survey the options before you start plating. Skip the foods that you can eat every day and prioritize your favourite, more seasonal items that will satisfy you.
- Eat mindfully and listen to your body. Try to eat slowly and mindfully. Enjoy the taste, textures and smells. This will help you be more satisfied with your meal, as well as being better able to tune into your body’s hunger and satiety cues. Stop eating when you feel you are satisfied instead of waiting until you feel full.
- Take initiative at the potluck. If you are bringing food to a holiday potluck, be the guest who makes a dish with nutritious and satisfying ingredients. Some ideas include: fruit or quinoa sala, a roasted vegetable dish, hummus and veggie tray or homemade bean salad dip with pita chips.
- Be mindful of side dishes. Choose — and make — side dishes rich with flavor and nutrients. Some suggestions: homemade cranberry sauce sweetened with ripe pear and less sugar; sweet potato pie topped with walnuts instead of marshmallows; mashed cauliflower; green bean almandine; spiced apple crumble topped with oatmeal or nuts instead of flour and butter; spiced butternut squash soup; and roasted maple Brussels sprouts.
- Incorporate physical activity. Devote time to be active and find activities you can enjoy with family and friends. Go on a family hike, walk, take the kids (or grandkids) to the playground, jog with friends, or make time for a yoga or spin class.
For more meal and snack ideas, check out www.cookspiration.com
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