I have to admit, stuffing is one of my all time favorite holiday foods and I won’t say no to jam cookies either, but if you follow some simple rules you won’t have to either!
The holidays are a time of year that we all look forward to in terms of socializing with friends and family but they should be “just another day” when it comes to what you eat. The mistake a lot of people make is depriving themselves and then overeating, or throwing in the towel and bingeing until their New Year’s resolutions kick in. Don’t undo all the good work of the year by gaining pounds over the holidays and then feeling disappointed with yourself. Also remember, this is not the time of year to try to lose weight or change your eating habits drastically, it’s the time of year to maintain your good habits and remember moderation.
Important things to remember
- Always eat breakfast – I will never get tired of saying that! Studies have shown that individuals who start their day with a healthy protein-rich breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.
- Avoid going out when you’re hungry; you’ll be more inclined to overeat. If you are going to a cocktail party have a meal or a light snack beforehand. This way, you will not fill up on fatty finger foods.
- Avoid recreational eating! Don’t stand by the food. Make your selection and move away; you can come back later if you are still genuinely hungry. Learn to recognize and acknowledge your true hunger and appetite.
- Be physically active every day. Physical activity (brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, etc) can relieve stress, regulate appetite, and burn up extra calories.
- If you indulge in dessert, share with someone (it’s much cozier that way, as well!).
- Reduce the fat in holiday recipes. There are plenty of low fat and low calorie substitutes that are amazingly tasty. Try using applesauce in place of oil in your favorite holiday breads; use egg substitutes in place of whole eggs; try plain nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream.
- Choose your beverages wisely. Alcohol is high in calories and after a few drinks you also eat more. Use non-alcoholic mixers such as water and soda water and drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol.
- The important thing to remember is balance and moderation. It’s OK to eat too much once in a while. The key to maintaining your weight is to go back to your normal routine after indulging, don’t use one indulgence as a way to continue with unhealthy eating.
- Elevated stress hormones can cause your body to pack on the pounds so most importantly try to relax, enjoy the holidays, and remember what this time of year is all about.
Dr. Rahima, ND is a Naturopathic doctor at the Dundas University Health Clinic. She has a special interest in weight loss, fertility, women’s health and autoimmune disease. She is also licensed in Intravenous Therapy. To learn more, book a free 15 minute consult today!