The holidays are a special time of year – one for gathering with friends and family, enjoying delicious meals and participating in gift exchanges. Without a mindful approach, it is easy to overindulge in holiday cheer. Use the following nutritional guide for surviving the holidays to help you plan ahead and navigate the holiday season without overindulging.
Enjoy holiday treats that only come once a year
To manage your sugar consumption over the festive season, savour those special treats that come only once a year. Avoid the other sweets that you can eat any other time of year.
Keep active throughout the holidays
We may be eating a little more during the holidays so it’s especially important to maintain regular physical activity. Go build a snowman, walk around your neighborhood and see all the lights, go skating at a local rink or walk inside at a local mall. Aim for at least 150 minutes of activity per week.
Fill half your plate with veggies first
When there are lots of options it is easy to over fill our plates and consume larger portions than we may need. Filling our plates with veggies first will allow for us to manage our portions and choose healthier options.
With the holidays comes high sugar foods and beverages. Be aware of the sugar content that come with eggnog and other festive drinks. Enjoy them, but in moderation. Have one of your favourite holiday cocktails, then switch to a low sugar option such as sparkling water flavoured with fresh fruit.
Don’t show up to a party starving – that is a recipe for overeating. Have a snack before leaving your house and engage in conversation instead of heading straight to the snack table.
When attending holiday gatherings, take the time to really enjoy and appreciate the smells, flavours and textures of each bite. Being mindful of what you are eating will help you realize when you are full and help limit overindulging.
Make holiday recipes healthier
Lots of recipes can be made a little healthier by searching for healthier ingredient substitutes. For baked goods, swap sugar for unsweetened apple sauce, prunes or dates.
If you’re looking for more information on mindful eating this holiday season, Whitney is here to help! Book a session to learn more about simple ways to boost nutrition this holiday season and on into the new year.
Whitney is a registered dietitian with the Your Independent Grocers in Surrey, Langley and Coquitlam. She is part of a network of more than 70 dietitians who provide services like one-on-one consultations, assisted shopping, school tours and recipe ideas at locations across the country.