7 Tips For Eating Healthy During the Holidays
The holiday season is all about family, friends, and of course, great food. It is a time to celebrate and take part in all the fun festivities. It is also the time we usually witness that dreaded gain of few inches around the waist, and when our regular exercise routine goes out the window. With all of the holiday work parties, family dinners, and social gatherings you have planned, it’s easy to get carried away with your eating habits.
Here are a few tips to help you be more health-conscious this holiday season:
1. Eat a snack – Let’s be honest…some of us would rather skip a meal to either “save room” or consume less calories throughout the day. Studies have shown that skipping meals can cause you’re brain’s reward system to light up more when you see a high-caloric meal. So have a small snack, whether it be trail mix, an avocado, a handful of almonds, or a small protein shake to keep you from over-indulging. I find that the healthier the snack, the less guilty you will feel for indulging all the tasty food later on.
2. Indulge moderately- Opt for sampling rather than serving one big piece. Be conscious of what you are eating, especially if you have known food sensitivities/intolerances that make you feel bloated or unwell. Another tip is to eat until you are no longer hungry- not until you are full.
3. Portion control- Whether you are a guest at a holiday dinner, or hosting your own party, choose/have smaller serving plates available to allow for smaller portion sizes, if desired. This way, you are in control and conscious of the amount of food that you are putting on your plate, making you less likely to over-indulge and more likely to pass on that second-helping.
4. Take breaks- If you’re conscious of high-caloric alcoholic drinks, have a glass of water in between each drink. This not only reduces the amount of calories you are consuming, but also fills you up, making you less likely to overindulge in food.
5. Add more spice- Whether you are making eggnog or a pumpkin pie, adding more spice such as cinnamon (and less sugar) can not only enhance the flavour but have greater health benefits. Cinnamon is a spice that has been found to help regulate blood sugar levels. Other spices such as nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and turmeric have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and aid digestion.
6. Look for healthier options– If you’re at a coffee shop buying your favourite holiday drink, ask for healthier options such as low-fat/almond/rice/soy milk, half-sweetened, or no whipped cream. You can still enjoy your favourite holiday drinks, but as healthier alternatives. The same goes for making your favourite pies or cakes; use healthier options in your ingredients such as honey instead of sugar, almond milk instead of whole milk or cream, or gluten-free flour instead of white flour.
7. Drink tea-Green tea is not only an excellent anti-oxidant, but great for burning fat and weight loss as well. Have a cup of Sencha or Matcha green tea before and/or after a heavy meal to help digest the food better.
Taking a much needed break from work or school this holiday season does not necessarily mean you need to take a break from healthy eating. You can still enjoy the foods you love, while making healthier choices. So be conscious of your eating habits, and enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones!
Gucciardi, Anthony. Healthy Holidays; How to Enjoy Holidays the Healthy Way. Retrieved on December 10, 2016 from http://naturalsociety.com/how-to-enjoy-the-holidays-the-healthy-way/