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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

  • Discomfort
  • Bloating
  • Tired

Happy holidays to all!



“Dégustation Sensorielle Chocolat.” Équilibre, Gouvernement Du Quebec, 29 Nov. 2017,

Nadeau, Marie-Eve. “Est-Ce Que J'ai Faim?” Nautilus Plus, Nautilus Plus, 7 Sept. 2015,

Alyssa Fontaine, Dt.P.

Nutrition supervisor at Nautilus Plus, member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec and holder of a bachelor’s degree from McGill University, Alyssa joined the Nautilus Plus team in January 2014. She developed an interest in healthy nutrition at a very young age, inspired by her grandmother’s large vegetable garden and her iron health still going strong at over 90 years of age. Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are the secrets to a long life. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Alyssa exercises regularly and shares her tips to living a balanced lifestyle acknowledging that she does have a sweet tooth. She is the proud spokesperson for the «Zero Diet» brand and she is being followed more and more on social networks.

Foods to avoid during the holidays is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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