It’s Time to Celebrate!
Holidays are often a time of overindulgence. Most of us throw caution to the wind and go all out with little thought to our waistline or our health.
Top Tips for the Holidays
- Think Ahead and Have a Plan
- For food, alcohol, physical activity and stress management.
- Take the Focus Off Food
- Get family and friends together and have fun ice skating, tobogganing, snowmobiling, or cheer on your favourite hockey team.
- Minimize Alcoholic Drinks
- Consider that a single serving (1cup, 250 ml) of eggnog has 340 calories and 19 grams fat. Plan to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; try sparkling water or spritzers. For best results decide how many drinks you will have before the evening starts.
- Control Portions of Cakes/Cookies and Desserts
- Choose alternatives such as whole grain crackers, low-fat cheese and fresh fruit. Avoid dessert, or share one dessert. Choose fruit options if available.
- Don’t Skip Meals
- Especially on the day of the party, skipping meals does not help you “save” calories, as most people become overly hungry, and in the end tend to over-eat. Start your day with a good nourishing breakfast, have a light lunch, then a small snack or salad shortly before leaving for your party.
- Scout Out the Options
- Don’t just dive right in and try a little bit of everything on the buffet table. Take your time to make healthier choices and stick to only 3-4 items on your plate (one protein, one grain, double vegetables).
- At the Restaurant
- Start with soup or salad: Broth soup/beans/vegetable. Avoid cream soup. Ask for salad dressing on the side. Avoid Caesar salad. Double up on the veggies. Ask the server for large or double the vegetable servings. Go vegetarian, choose vegetarian entrees. Be mindful of the serving sizes of protein, and bread/pasta/potato.
- Think of Your Overall Daily Consumption
- Have a meal plan before you head out to the restaurant. Preview the restaurant’s menu online.
- Barter with Yourself.
- For example, if you want dessert, forfeit the bread and only eat half of your potato/rice/noodles.
- Focus on YOUR Regular Portion Size
Even if you don’t plan to take home a doggie bag, never feel bad about leaving food on your plate.
The restaurant’s portion size may be very generous.
Plated food that is served to us is a major food cue suggesting to us: “this is the volume of food you should eat”.
Challenge that thought and focus on your portion size, not their portion size.
- Be Assertive
- Inquire how the food is prepared. For example, is it baked? Deep-fried? Battered/breaded? Ask for what you need (even if you do not see it on the menu). Ask for menu substitutions i.e., may I substitute grilled tomatoes instead of pan-fried potatoes for the breakfast special?
Did You Know?
Learning to be assertive is a vital step towards taking control of your eating.
Being assertive is a skill that most of us need to practise, and it is often trickier with family and friends.