The holiday season is coming up which means presents, outdoor activities, family get-togethers and lots of food! It’s important to enjoy this season while not losing track of your healthy living goals. Here are some survival tips to get you through the holiday season!
Tip #1: Don’t Fast & Feast
It's common to fast during the day and then overeat at night for a big dinner. While this may seem logical, it is actually the opposite. Why is it a bad idea? The first reason is due to the affect fasting has on our metabolism. Fasting slows down your metabolism which means your body is burning off fewer calories and storing more calories. The second reason is that the intense hunger from fasting all day can lead you to eat more than a days worth of calories at dinner.
Tip: Eat regular balanced meals and snacks during the day to prevent over eating at dinner. You can also go for a stroll after dinner to look at the scenic Christmas lights which will help squeeze in some extra exercise.
Tip # 2: Watch Portion Sizes
It’s typically not what you eat, but how much you eat that leads to “over doing it” on the holidays. In some cases, it can be a combination of both.
Tip: Keep portions in check by using what Dietitians like to call "the plate method". This typically looks like the following: ½ plate of vegetables, ¼ plate protein, ¼ plate starch. And don't be afraid to have extra veggies, that won't hurt. That is an easy way to ensure your portion sizes are in check. What do you do about foods like desserts? Have a small portion of a few items to enjoy a little bit of all your favourites. Everything in moderation is okay!
Tip #3: Be Active During the Holidays
Holidays are often a time of relaxation and lounging. There's nothing wrong with taking some well needed "R & R," but it’s essential to have a healthy balance of relaxation and physical activity.
Tip: Bundle up in your winter gear and take a crisp daily walk alone or with your family. It can be very refreshing and an enjoyable way to get some activity in. Another way to stay active is to take advantage of outdoor winter activities and plan ski or skating days.
Tip #4: Meet with a Dietitian
If you meet with a Registered Dietitian regularly, schedule an appointment prior to the holiday season to do some meal and strategy planning. If you have never met with Dietitian and think you may want to, this is a good time to start so you can cruise through the holidays maintaining your health! It's possible I promise!