The holiday season has arrived, a difficult time for people watching their weight.
Shorter days, colder weather and an increased presence of holiday treats and alcohol create a perfect environment for gaining weight; a discouraging way to start the new year.
So is it possible to enjoy all the festivities while being mindful of your health?
Tips for Holiday Parties:
• Don’t arrive at a party famished – when you are starving, it is difficult to make good food decisions.
• Try to mingle more than you munch. Start conversations away from the food table.
• Choose only your favourite appetizer and dessert- withhold the urge to sample every item on the table.
• Drink responsibly: have a glass of water between alcoholic drinks
• If you are waiting for Christmas dinner, don’t snack on bowls of candies and nuts before the meal. While nuts are healthy, a half cup, or large handful has 400 calories.
• Boogie it on the dance floor!
Tips for Home:
• Be wary of mindless emotional hunger.
For many, Christmas brings stress or anxiety that can trigger a hungry feeling or a sense that “you have to eat now.”
These urges can be very intense and can come on suddenly.
You know you are eating emotionally if the desire comes after having eaten recently (i.e. you should not be physically hungry), the food is not satiating you (you can’t seem to get enough), or you are only craving a particular food (such as chocolate).
If you find yourself eating emotionally, try take a step back and figure out what is the real issue causing this behaviour.
Brainstorm other ways of coping with these feelings.
• Limit the amount of holiday baking and treats you keep around the house.
• Find enjoyable winter activities to do: tobogganing with kids or grandkids, skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, building a snowman, shovelling, doing laps around the arena while you watch hockey practice, swimming…
-Serena Caner is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.