The holiday season is upon us. The season of parties, celebrations, and get togethers. Many of these events involve food, lots of food. A time when we all fall, to some degree, off our respective wellness wagons. Here are 6 tips to help you stay within arms reach of that wagon.
1. Stay Active
Let’s be honest, we will all consume more calories/food/sugar than we should over the holidays. Keep moving. Continue your normal workout routine, or adopt a new one. Round up your friends and family and go out for brisk walk around the neighbourhood or play snow tag after that heavy meal. Aerobic exercise stimulates the release of appetite regulating hormones.
2. PRE-Eat At Home
Don’t starve yourself all day in anticipation of the dessert buffet being served at the holiday party. Eat a meal rich in whole foods at home before you go; you will be less inclined to make poor food choices driven by a ravenous appetite. Remember to eat breakfast. A nutritious breakfast will set the tone for your day. Additionally, feed the kids one of their favourite meal before attending holiday parties. This a great way to avoid behaviours related to hunger, in the case of a delayed or late meals. Children are easily distracted at parties and may not eat to fullness so by pre-eating you can relax and enjoy your meal knowing that they had a wholesome meal at home and anything they eat at the party is a bonus.
3. Focus On Activities
Plan to meet friends and family for an activity in lieu of a meal. An afternoon of tobogganing or skating will take the focus off food and burn calories. Bonus! Too cold? Bust out the board games, get crafty or plan an indoor scavenger hunt. Host the activity between major meal times and serve a healthy snack or light meal.
4. 'THIS' then 'THAT'
When plating your food fill up on healthy, whole, foods first then hit the dessert table. Consider incorporating all five flavours (pungent, sour, sweet, salty and bitter) when choosing foods. By satisfying all tastes, you are less likely to experience cravings after a meal.
5. Eat Mindfully
Eat with awareness, not just awareness of foods but rather awareness of the experience of eating. Mindful of the smell and taste of your meal. How does the food make you feel? Savour it. Enjoy it. Don’t forget to breathe. Take your time eating. Take a deep breathe between bites. Allow your body to feel full before going for a second helping.
6. Stay Hydrated
Drink water, lots of water. Water will dilute the effects of the alcoholic holiday beverages and help flush the extra sugar out of your system and curb those cravings.
What do you do to stay healthy during the holiday season?
Jayda Siggers is a Mom of 2 ( JWS, 6 and LLS, 4), a nutritionist, a coach at Clean Plate Cleanse, a master mediator living under a co-dictatorship, whole food advocate, trying to live a little greener everyday.