Holiday Eating Habits

by Rose Reisman

With the holiday season on the horizon, we look forward to all the festivities that usually translate to food, food and more food. Indulging in excessive amounts of alcohol and high-fat foods is a sure-fire way to undo all the good we’ve done for our bodies all year, and can lead to feelings of guilt, fatigue and overall malaise – and then the usual New Year’s resolution to lose the extra weight we’ve gained!

Now I don’t mean you should be avoiding those appetizers, drinks and desserts, but you do have to have some precautionary measures set up. Remember it’s a holi-DAY not a holi-MONTH. Keep the following disciplines in the forefront of your mind:

1. Eat something small before you head over to the party so that you’re not starving – Eat balanced meals and snacks during the day to prevent over-indulging. People who “hold out” until the party so they can eat non-stop, wake up the next morning with a “food hangover,” don’t eat all day, then overeat at night again.  This can become an unhealthy vicious cycle.

2. Plan in advance – If you know you have a party coming up, try increasing your fruits, veggies, lean proteins and complex carbs during the week so that you can afford the higher caloric and fatty foods at the event.

3. Don’t drink your calories – Wine, Eggnog and festive cocktails may be tempting, but it can be shocking to learn that a single glass can have anywhere between 120-300 calories.

4. Be selective – It’s okay to have one or two of those deep-fried, puff pastries or bacon-wrapped appetizers. But don’t forget about the crudités and light dip, fruit and lean protein choices like satays and skewers.

5. Location, Location, Location – Grab a friend and sit down to have a conversation. Don’t loiter near the buffet tables where it’s easy to lose track of how many of those appetizers you’ve actually had.

6. It’s not All or Nothing – So maybe you had one too many hors d’oeuvres. Does that mean you should keep going and blow it? There is still time to redeem yourself. Just stop, think and start again. It also helps to wear tighter fitting clothes to remind you!

7. Room for Dessert? – For sure. But share anything larger or stick to a couple of the miniature delights. You can absolutely have your cake and eat it too!

8. Party at the Gym – If you have time to go to celebrations, you have to make time to continue to work out to burn those excess calories. Schedule in a pre-party and post-party workout to balance out your indulgences and keep yourself on track.

So enjoy the festivities this time of year.  Eat, drink and be merry, and hopefully you’ll be making a different New Year’s resolution in 2014!

Rose ReismanRose Reisman is a reknowned expert in improving the way Canada lives through diet, nutrition, and lifestyle.

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