5 Holiday Eating Strategies

Above: 5 smart-eating strategies for the holiday season
Above: 5 smart-eating strategies for the holiday season

You can make it through the holidays without ruining your physique and needing to go up a pant size come the new year. It’ll take some discipline; there are plenty of parties, dinners and occasions where your glass never seems to empty and buffets spill over with fatty, sugary, high-calorie food, after all. But practice these tactics and you’ll be able to sail into the new year without having to shed any extra holiday flab.

Work up a sweat

No matter how busy your schedule gets over the holidays, make a commitment to fitting in physical activity. Get everyone out to go skating rather than being lazy around the house. Shovel the snow when at your in-laws. If traveling during the holidays, download fitness apps and bring travel-friendly workout gear if needed (such as resistance bands).

Monitor your food intake

Be aware of what you’re consuming and adjust accordingly; for example, if you had a big lunch with a client, resist the temptation to dive into the snacks at your neighbour’s cocktail party. That said, avoid starving yourself in anticipation of going over to your buddy’s get-together. If you do that, you’ll just become ravenous and likely eat more than you would’ve had you eaten as you normally would that day.

Drink or eat

A little of both is fine, of course, but it might help to make a decision as to what you would rather do: enjoy your favourite bourbon or eat the holiday baking; choose one to be your focus of the party. However, be mindful of how much you’re drinking. Drinking alcohol doesn’t make you feel full (and in fact, it may make you less resolved to your healthy eating plan), so you could feel like you’re allowed to treat yourself to too many visits to the cheese platter.

Focus on protein

When you’re faced with a spread of food at the  party, focus on putting foods with protein and fibre on your plate. Protein and fibre help you feel full, making it less likely you’ll return for second or third servings. Enjoy a taste of your favourite holiday cookie or cake, but don’t pile it onto your plate. These starchy sugar bombs will spike your blood sugar and just end up making you feel sluggish afterwards.

Be aware of what you’re consuming

Whether you’re parked in front of the TV with a bowl of chips, or standing by the cheese and charcuterie platter as you chat with a friend at a party, you may not even realize that you’re grazing on food the entire time. Take a moment to check in mentally on what you’re eating and whether you’re even hungry or even enjoying it. If not, then put away the snacks, or walk away from them (in the case of the holiday party buffet).

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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