Healthy Eating for Happy Holidays

For many, the holidays make it difficult to stick with eating and exercise routines, but it doesn’t mean all your hard work should be tossed out the window. All it takes is a little planning.

Think ahead. Most of us have been following the same Holiday celebrations for years now, so we can anticipate what foods will be served. Think ahead: what dishes are you most looking forward to this year? Once you have your answer, make sure to save room for them.

Be conscious of nibbling while waiting for the favorites to grace the table. I’ve personally spent countless Holidays mindlessly munching on appetizers and snacks, only to feel so full, I couldn’t enjoy what I had been anticipating for.

Scan the table. When foods are served, survey the entire table before filling your plate. Once you’ve decided what you want, serve yourself a small portion of each item. If your family is like mine, there will be plenty left to go back for seconds if you’re still hungry. This also applies to dessert!

Listen to your body and stop eating when you are satisfied. Not when you are overly full but when you are satisfied.

Get moving. It is only normal that we can’t always find time for all our regular workouts during the Holidays, and it is totally ok! Bundle up and go for a nice walk or hit a climbing gym. YouTube has thousands of workouts for all levels you can do at home. Anything that gets you moving!

Decide how many drinks will be sensible for you to enjoy. Always finish the full glass before accepting a refill. We often refill a drink before the last one is finished and by the end, we are not quite sure how many drinks we’ve had. Remember to limit yourself as planned to avoid undesirable effects. When we drink, our bodies stop all other non-essential functions because its sole focus is to eliminate the alcohol from our systems. So, if we eat and drink too much at the same time, our body doesn’t properly digest all the food we have consumed, leaving us with great discomfort, indigestion, difficulty sleeping and ultimately storing more calories.

Be mindful by drinking sensibly and in moderation. The Canadian Guidelines for Alcohol Consumptions are: 2 drinks a day for women with a maximum of 10 per week, and 3 drinks a day for men with a maximum of 15 per week. These recommendations are for safe consumption and not for sobriety. Know your limits and never drink and drive.

At the end of the day, Holiday time means special time with family and friends. So, embrace it, enjoy the great food, and don’t let any feelings of guilt enter your mind!

Happy and Healthy Holidays to you and yours.

By Jennifer Abdulezer P.dt

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