It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is upon us! Christmas commercials have started to air, store-front windows are displaying their holiday merchandise, grocery stores are filling up with seasonal food, and Christmas party invites are coming in.
Christmas is one of my favourite holidays, but it also comes with a lot of temptation to indulge in high-fat appetizers & sugary treats. The average person gains about 10-15lbs over the next couple months. In order to maintain your weight, and still enjoy everything the holiday season has to offer; check out my guide to “healthy holiday party eating.”
1. Don’t go to the party starving. Have a small snack before so that you don’t dive into the buffet table, and overeat. For example, have a yogurt with some high-fibre cereal, or a piece of fruit with some nuts.
2. Don’t position yourself next to the food table. You’re more likely to continue nibbling if the food is right in front of you.
3. Choose a small plate vs. a large plate. Once you’ve finished the food on your plate; only go back if you’re still hungry, not because you’re bored & want to keep nibbling.
4. Focus on having good conversations & working the room instead of eating. If you’re having a good time; you’ll be less likely to overdo it at the buffet.
5. Rule of thumb: choose colourful vs. brown food. Colourful usually = healthy, and brown usually = deep fried.
6. Examples of healthy party food choices: Veggies & dip, fruit, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, sushi, chicken satay, cheese & crackers and nuts (fats in moderation) are all good choices because they are high in fibre & protein, and low in bad fats & sugar.
7. Holiday parties = lots of baked goods, and it’s important that you don’t deprive yourself. Go in with a strategy – choose your favourite dessert and have just one. Skim over the dessert table, eye your fav, put it on your plate, walk away & enjoy.
8. Alcohol flows like water this time of year. Go into the party with a drink strategy – cut yourself off after 2 drinks, or 1 drink per hour. You don’t need the extra calories, the hangover or the gossip at the office next day for being the drunk one at the party. Alternate your drinks with non-alcoholic options so you have something in your hand and you won’t be tempted by the offer of another drink.
9. Enjoy the healthy seasonal foods like roasted chestnuts, pomegranates, and Maroc Clementine’s*.
10. Keep exercising! I know the holidays are busy, but it’s important to stick to your exercise routine as much as possible. If you don’t have time for the gym; bundle up and go for jog or brisk walk around the block with family. You burn more calories in the cold!
*I love these little oranges because they are a H.E.Y snack (healthy, easy, and yummy). Just pop a couple in your purse or briefcase for work, Christmas shopping, or a pre-gym snack. They are easy to peel, 46 calories each, high in flavanoids, vitamin C, calcium & fibre. Enjoy them with a handful of nuts & seeds and you have yourself a high fibre/protein snack. Also, everyone loves them – so they usually make an appearance at holiday parties and around the office.
Cheers to a happy & healthy holiday season!
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