Foods to avoid during the holidays
Looking for the foods to avoid during the holiday season?
The answer: None.
You read correctly, there is no particular food to ban from your holiday menu. Eat the foods that provide you the greatest pleasure.
Are you afraid of losing control and not fitting into your clothes after the holidays?
Here is a healthy and efficient strategy to adopt: recognize when it’s time to stop eating. While it may seem rather simple, mastering your satiety signals is quite a challenge and is the key of healthy eating habits. Here are 4 steps to help you recognize your satiety signals during a holiday meal.
1) Right now: PRACTICE
The first step is to learn how to eat slower and savour your food. It takes the body an average of 20 minutes to recognize the signs of satiety, hence the importance of eating more slowly.
Of course, one can’t master listening to his satiety signals overnight. To get there, I recommend doing this virtual chocolate tasting experience (only offered in French). The tasting exercise is rather intense and I do not recommend replicating the same exact method with every food you eat during the holidays. However, the tasting concept is well explained and might change your perspective on how to truly savour food.
I recommend practicing this tasting exercise at home for the purpose of mastering it and applying it in a more social context where there are more distractions
2) The day of the holiday meal: PLAN
Make sure to not skip your meals or snacks in anticipation of eating more during your holiday meal. It will be harder to listen to your satiety signals if you arrive hungry at the festivities.
3) During the holiday meal: SAVOUR
During the holiday meal, apply what you practiced at home and take the time to savor the food you eat. Here are some senses to pay attention to from the document “A meal full of sense” by Équilibre:
- FLAVORS: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, etc.
- TEXTURES: crisp, soft, dry, creamy, etc.
- TEMPERATURES: hot, cold, warm, etc.
- SOUNDS: sparkling, crunchy, crisp, etc.
- OTHER SENSATIONS: spicy, refreshing etc.
4) Later during the holiday meal: LISTEN
To stop eating, you must not wait until you feel completely full. Adopt this simple satiety scale from my colleague’s article “Am I hungry? Ask yourself where you stand during your meal. The goal is to stop when you are between levels 1 and 2.
1.I’m still hungry – Stomach rumbling
- Feeling empty
- Lower energy
2. I am satisfied – Return of energy
- Food seems less tasty
- Feeling of well being
3. I ate too much -Feeling heavy
Happy holidays to all!
Refrences: “Dégustation Sensorielle Chocolat.” Équilibre, Gouvernement Du Quebec, 29 Nov. 2017, equilibre.ca/documents/files/capsulevideojisd-chocolat.mp4. Nadeau, Marie-Eve. “Est-Ce Que J'ai Faim?” Nautilus Plus, Nautilus Plus, 7 Sept. 2015, www.nautilusplus.com/fr/est-ce-que-jai-faim/?f=1#force.