This is my favourite time of year. From the decorations and music to the gatherings and even the weather, this season never fails to fill me with joy. But with the holidays just around the corner, the MN offices are buzzing with fear of holiday overindulgence, with thoughts of cookies and cocktails dancing in your heads. So for this edition of five things to try this December, we’re focusing on eating tips to help you make the most of your celebrations.
1. Don’t skip meals
By far the biggest mistake we see over the holiday season are folks skipping meals during the day in order to “save up” for the main event. This almost always backfires because you’ll be so famished come dinner time that you’ll have lost complete control over your appetite. The best strategy is actually the complete opposite: you want to arrive at your dinner party appetite in check. So eat balanced meals and snacks throughout the day and let your hunger cues guide you this holiday.
2. Plate your food
When you’re lost in conversation catching up with family and friends, even the most mindful eater may not notice themselves picking away at the chip bowl until it’s empty. Get into the habit of mindfully plating your food and taking your conversation away from the buffet. We want to eat out of hunger, not habit.
3. Offer to bring a healthy option
Worried there may not be any vegetables at your gathering? If the holiday menu tends to lack colour, break the beige by bringing your own fruit or veggie-based dishes to the party. Make a crudite platters or big bright salad or colourful fruit platter or fruit-based dessert.
4. Make time for movement
The holidays may be a busy time, but there’s no reason to deprive your body of physical activity. If you’re not fond of the outdoors in winter weather, why not walk around one of the many Christmas Markets in the city? Here’s a list of them:
- Salon des Métiers d’Arts at Place Bonaventure (December 2nd to 22nd)
- Marché de Noel at Place des Arts(December 2nd to 24th)
- Souk@SAT at the Society of Arts and Technology (December 9th to 11th)
- Puces Pop at St-Denis Church (December 9th to 11th and 16th to 18th)
- International Traditional Christmas Village at Place Jacques-Cartier (December 9th to 24th)
5. Don’t obsess; enjoy your friends and family!
The idea of holiday weight gain is often blown out of proportion. Truth is the average weight gained per person this season is one pound, if at all. The holidays are for enjoying, not obsessing. Keep in mind that the more preoccupied you are with food and your weight, the more likely you are to feel guilt, which may lead to emotional overeating. So stay present, be mindful of the time you are spending with your loved ones, and if you catch yourself obsessing, bring yourself back to the present moment.
What have you got planned this December?
Wishing you a wonderful and delicious holiday season!
Stefanie Rosser RD