7 tips for guilt-free holiday eating
How do you feel about the holidays?
For many of us, that time of year is synonymous with overindulgence and guilt! While some forget all about their healthy eating habits and plan to resume them come January, others try hard to control everything in order to stick to their routine. Regardless of which option we choose, we often find ourselves carrying an enormous sense of guilt and a strong urge to crash diet come January. If you want this year to be different, follow these 7 tips and enjoy a guilt-free holiday season.
Look at the big picture
In December, the chances of overeating are multiplied. Whether it be on the Eve, at the New Year’s party, at the office parties or the many holiday shopping sprees, you’ll be having many meals outside the home. Take the time to jot down all your planned outings on your calendar or in your agenda in order to have a overview of all the events for the month. Then, set some time aside for your workouts, to shop for groceries, and to meal prep for the upcoming week.
Don’t wait to be famished
One of the major reasons for overeating is reaching the point of being ravenousely hungry. Everythng looks great when we are famished. So, arrive with a plan. For example, if you‘ve been invited to a dinner party where you know there will be copious amounts of food, eat a balanced breakfast and lunch and a couple of satisfying snacks during the day and you will arrive at the dinner party with a regular appetite. You will be less likely to devour everything you see and you will be more inclined to keep your portions controlled. Also, if you plan to do some x-mas shopping after work, think about bringing an extra snack for the road!
Focus on your favourite foods
What are your favourite holiday foods? Instead of sampling everything on the table, give preference to the foods that give you the most pleasure. Don’t feel obliged to taste eveything in order to please your hosts, learn to say no and save you appetite for those foods you really like.
Taste your food
Take the time to appreciate your food, to savour it. When we eat too quickly, we are not mindful of all the various flavours and the sensory experience associated with each bite. Beacuse this aspect is not satisfied, we want more and we keep eating! When we slow down and savour each bite, we derive more pleasure and our senses are content.
Festive foods first
Choose the dishes that are synonymous with Christmas, those foods you don’t eat at any other time during the year. Why eat chips at a holiday meal when you’ll be eating Christmas log for dessert? Choose wisely because that log won’t be around next week!
Boost your vegetable intake by aiming for half-plate portions of vegetables for lunch and dinner. Whether in soups or in salads, whether raw, steamed, boiled or roasted, the more the better. If you have fallen short on your vegetable intake at one meal, simply have more at the other meal or as a snack.
Although free time is a rare commodity at this time of year, and you may not be able to go to the gym, stay active during the holiday season. Get some exercise as a family. Go for walks, play in the snow, go skating, skiing or snowshoeing…any exercise is good exercise. The important thing is to maintain your activity level. You will feel better and the transition into the month of January will be a smoother one.
Happy holidays everyone! 🙂