Holiday Survival Tips
Farewell from Kevin
Healthy Holiday Eating Tips
Danielle Van Schaick BASc, RD, CPT
Registered Dietitian, Lead Dietitian
Are you ready to party? The next six weeks will be filled with fun and food, plus a few diet hurdles. Here are 5 simple strategies to ease your fears of holiday eating!
1. Holiday Weight Gain
If you convince yourself you’re going to gain weight this holiday season, you probably will! Relax. Did you know that the average Canadian gains only 2 pounds over the holidays?
The Solution: Plan ahead. Creating a plan of action will ease anxiety. Establish an easy rule to keep from going overboard, such as “I’ll have a 150-calorie treat a day” or “I’ll add 10 minutes to every workout”.
2. Overeating at Parties
Celebratory spreads make it easy to stuff yourself but obsessing over every bite will ruin your night. The Solution: Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel tomorrow? Bloated and disappointed or proud and healthy?” And, NEVER go to a party hungry. We often eat faster and more when we are hungry – therefore eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day to avoid overeating at the party.
3. “I can’t resist pumpkin lattes”
The Solution: Give yourself permission to relish the special foods you have only during the holidays—your mom’s pecan pie, Grandma’s candied yams or even Starbucks’s seasonal treats, in moderation. Substitute these dishes for your usual indulgences such as chips, ice cream and pizza. Just don’t let a 300-calorie slip turn into a 3,000-calorie blowout, once you’ve had that slice of cake, get back to eating healthfully.
4. Eating leftovers for days
It’s undeniable: Reheated turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce is even more delectable on day 2. Combine that with a race to finish the food before it spoils and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
The Solution: Refrigerate enough of your leftovers for day-after sandwiches, then send guests home with doggie bags and put the remainder in the freezer, so you won’t be tempted to pile up a plate every time you open the fridge.
5. January 1st is just around the corner
Vowing to diet come January 1? Knowing there’s a restrictive eating plan on the horizon encourages you to binge or go crazy with bad foods because you anticipate giving them up.
The Solution: Aim for balance now and look forward to 2010 as a fresh start and the beginning of a peaceful time when you can map out healthful meals. You’ll be less tempted today, and—if you’ve been mindful—you won’t have to dig yourself out of a two month glut.
Dani Health & Nutrition
Danielle is a private practice dietitian with a strong background in health, nutrition and fitness. She holds an Applied Human Nutrition Degree from the University of Guelph and successfully completed a Dietetic Internship with Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA).