Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Healthy Holiday Eating

Tis the season of good cheer and holiday celebrations. Keeping your basic dietary and exercise lifestyle habits on track helps to combat that holiday weight gain. Research shows that one-off over-indulgences do not cause weight gain, rather the weight gain is induced by the gradual and sustained caloric increases or dietary habits that are developed as long term behaviours. So while it is fine to indulge in those holiday treats, it is also important to remember a few key tips to help avoid the holiday over-indulgences.

  • When faced with a holiday meal or those groaning buffet tables, remember portion control and selecting from a variety of food groups
  • Drink a large glass of water just before the holiday dinner, liquid helps you feel fuller faster
  • Use a smaller plate
  • Cover most of the plate with vegetables and salad
  • While turkey is one of the lean proteins, keep portion control in mind
  • Keep stuffing portions small
  • Avoid "candied" vegetables and starches
  • Instead of watching football, why not suggest an activity of your own
  • Instead of having full portions of desserts or sweets, make thoughtful selections and just indulge in a taste of each
  • Cut down on alcohol consumption, it is a fast way to add up calories
  • Offer to make lighter versions of traditional dishes as your contribution to the table
  • Remember to maintain your exercise routine
  • Don't let the season begin before it should and end way after it should, those are the beginnings of lifestyle habits
The holiday season is about spending time with family and friends. Focusing on the enjoyment of the companionship instead of the food is the best way to head off the holiday calories. After all that is the true meaning of the season.

References from the SIRC Collection:
  1. Burrell, S. (2012). Avoiding the Holiday Body Hangover. Bicycling Australia (173), p.90.
  2. Wuesthoff, S. (2011). 'Tis the season for holiday eating strategies. IDEA Fitness Journal, 8(10), p.56.

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