10 Tips to Avoid the Festive 5-10 this Holiday

By Joanne Mulhall

December 19, 2016

Core Wellness Solutions

Posted In: Education, General Health, General Wellness, Nutrition, Surrey, What's Up Canada, White Rock

Let’s be realistic! The holidays are for fun, celebrating and many meals with friends and family. How do we keep things in balance this holiday season when sweets and alcohol abound. Follow these 10 tips to keep you on track.
1. Stick to your 3 meals per day.
When you skip breakfast or lunch in order to “save your appetite” for a celebration dinner not eating until the afternoon may lead to binging later on. Best advice? Stick to a reasonably sized breakfast and lunch with plenty of protein, which will keep you fuller longer and temper the urge to stuff your face later. Dinner isn’t until later? Have a small salad or protein smoothie to curb your appetite and help you keep portions smaller for dinner.

2. Bring your own.
Rather than try to figure out what’s in every dish at a friend’s party (or avoid eating altogether), bring a healthy side dish or dessert. Taste the what you want, but know you have a healthy alternative to fall back on.

3. Eat and Chew your food slowly
Eating slowly may not be easy when appetizer options are endless, but it pays off to pace yourself. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register fullness. So slow down and take a second to savour each bite of baked brie or scoop of spiced nuts.

4. Sip on water in between bites
Sipping on water will also help slow down your eating as well as help with satiety so you don’t overeat.

5. Let Veggies be front and centre
For sit down meals and buffets, focus on the green salads and steamed or raw vegetables first. Leave the pasta salads aside. If it’s more appetizer foods, seek out the veggie platters; be sure to eat from those first and avoid the creamy dips but eat them plain or with some humous dip.

6. Use smaller plates
In any situation, use a smaller plate if it’s an option. Your plate will look full, so visually it will seem like a lot of food. Studies have shown consistent weight loss over time for participants who used smaller plates for every meal. Make a commitment not to go back for seconds or thirds.

7. Wait 20 minutes between courses or servings
Yes, you’ve heard it all before but it really is true! It takes 20 minutes for the receptors in the stomach to send messages to the brain to release the hormones into the blood stream that give you the signal telling you that you are full. Be kind to your body and give it time to give you this signal.

8. Share
Full portions of restaurant meals are often enough, and sometimes more than enough, to share between two people. It’s a great way to sample more food by sharing an appy, entre and definitely deserts!

9. Dilute your alcohol consumption
For every glass of wine, beer or alcohol your body becomes dehydrated. You need to replenish each one drank with two glasses of water to stay hydrated, plus it keeps you from overdoing it, especially at the staff Christmas party, which is never the place to overindulge.

10. Just say NO – thank you
This can be easier than you think. Though your relatives may encourage overeating by shoving seconds onto a cleaned plate, it’s OK to respectfully decline. “I’m full” or “I’m taking a break” should be enough for friends and family members to back off (and give you time to decide if you’d really like more).