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THRIVING DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON
By Coach Courtney, RD www.vitalitynutrition.ca
Holiday parties, family gatherings, and increased access to treats and sweets may bring feelings of anxiety as you work to develop a balance with your food choices. With a bit of pre-planning, flexibility, and compromise you can manage the holiday season guilt-free. Consider these tips at your next social gathering: Don’t show up hungry: A common mistake is “saving calories” for a big meal and showing up to the event completely famished. Eat something healthy and at least somewhat filling before you go. I recommend choosing lean proteins and high volume foods (like veggies) throughout the day so that you are able to fill your plate wisely when you get to the party. Don’t linger by the food table: Make a conscious choice to enjoy the foods offered, but don’t eat just because other people are eating or because it’s convenient. If you find yourself mindlessly noshing on food, try situating yourself away from the table. Make being lazy work for you – if you have to walk to the table to access the food you are less likely to continue snacking. Avoid mindless snacking: A couple bites while preparing your dish, some extra snacks from the coffee table spread of appetizers, and snacking on the leftovers while cleaning up from the meal can add up to a substantial amount of extra calories. The problem with mindless eating is you aren't able to enjoy the food - it mostly goes unnoticed! Make it a rule that you will sit down and enjoy appetizers, your meal, and a dessert if you are planning on having one. If you still struggle with mindless snacking - try chewing a piece of gum after the meal to remind yourself not to snack unncessarily. Appreciate the people: It doesn’t have to just be about the food! Appreciate the opportunity to visit with friends, family, or coworkers. Try striking up a conversation with someone you wouldn’t normally talk to. You could even bring along a board game to encourage socializing instead of snacking. Load up on vegetables first: Put vegetables first on the plate. Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. You will always put more on your plate of the first thing.
Veggies first: fill half your plate with veggies or fresh salads
Protein second: choose a lean protein (there is usually turkey, ham, or shrimp rings as an appetizer!)
Carbohydrate third: choose your favorite starch, fruit, or hold out for dessert!
Be strategic with alcohol: Try to avoid anything that is mixed with pop and be mindful of how much you are drinking. It’s easy to forget that the calories from alcohol can add up fast. Go in with a set limit of 1-2 d