You can eat foods you love but consume smaller portions.

Enjoy Christmas Without Packing on the Pounds

Nutritionist Maunelva Taylor-Benjamin shares some strategies for managing what you eat.

While it is important to enjoy the season, it is even more critical that you still aim to maintain good health. Being health conscious does not mean that you cannot allow yourselves little indulges to celebrate and enjoy the season. What would be required is some planning and forethought on your part so that you can strike a balance between
maintaining a healthy lifestyle whilst participating in the fun and revelry of the season. The easiest way to do this is to plan ahead – know where you are going and what you will be doing.

How to enjoy your favourite holiday foods without packing on the pounds.

  • Stock up on healthy snacks – Since you are going to be home more often avoid having unhealthy snacks around the house to avoid the temptation. If you are planning a party or get together, do not buy snacks and certain foods too far ahead of the event.
  • Prepare for outings – If you are going out eat a balanced snack or meal at home before you go out so you can control your choices.
  • Try to stay clear of too many fat laden foods. Review your methods of cooking to limit the amount of fried or greasy foods.
  • Be assertive – Don’t feel as though you have to say yes to all foods being offered. Eat only if you are hungry and not just because there is food around.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages. Alcohol contains calories and is fattening too. Alcohol also lowers your inhibitions, making it harder to say no to foods you would not otherwise eat. Never drink on an empty stomach.
  • Refuse second helpings. Make one trip to the table and sit down and eat.
  • Practice mindfulness, before you heap on the goodies, scan the table and choose only the foods you really want and keep the portions small
  • A taste here and there can really add up. Wait until it’s time to eat so you can sit down and savour the sumptuous meal.
  • Limit the special foods to the actual holiday rather than the whole season.
  • Eat regularly – avoid skipping meals, this usually backfires as by the next meal you are very hungry and tend to eat far more than you intended
  • As much as possible, include low calorie foods in like raw vegetables and fruits your meals.
  • Not only is food, drink and festivity common at this time. Many persons get sick around this time. Keep your immune system strong to avoid the seasonal cold and flu. Include lots of foods to boost your immune system. A simple trick is to use colour as your guide.
  • Food safety is another health treat during the holiday season. Ensure foods are prepared, served and stored correctly.
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise – Keep up your physical activity. Set aside time for regular exercise and find something to laugh about. Put on holiday music and move your body.
  • Keep your stress under control by using relaxation techniques to limit your stress and emotional eating.

Although festival brings with it over eating and overdrinking. Don’t be caught on this path. Remember you have worked too hard throughout the year to mess up it up now. So stick to your plan so you can remain healthy.