’Tis the season of TONS OF FOOD. As important as it is to try a slice of your grandma’s homemade pecan pie, it is just as important to remind yourself to continue to stay mindful of what you are feeding your body throughout this holiday season. Here’s a few tips on what you could do to keep you eating healthy!
Drink a tall glass of water
Drinking a tall glass of water 30 minutes before each meal will allow you to feel less hungry, and therefore, less tempted to eat all 20 of those sugar cookies you’ve been eyeing down. On top of this, staying hydrated is proven to assist in making better food choices by its ability to eliminate cravings.
Take a smaller plate
Incorrect portion sizes are one of the biggest reasons as to why we are so prone to overeating here in North America. We are so used to filling a plate, and topping it up to maximize room, however, the actual portion sizes we should be eating fall towards half of the amount we normally do end up eating. By taking a smaller plate, you will be able to create a sort of mental list of priorities in what is most deserving of the limited room.
Eat a variety of foods
When going around the table lined with dishes of fabulous feast, try grabbing a variety of different food so that you can taste them and see which you like. Not only will this variety do swell in ensuring each one of your food groups are being satisfied, but it also will allow for the avoidance of the mindless-eating, and more delicate picks at the many choices to savour taste and nutrients.
Tis’ the season not just for food, but for bottomless mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows, and life is much too short to ever try to eliminate this from holiday tradition. Try topping this hearty beverage with a dash cinnamon. Cinnamon is known to be a natural metabolism-booster, so perhaps hot chocolate doesn’t have to always be an entirely guilt-ridden experience.
Eat homemade dishes
Try suggesting to your family to stay indoors and to make homemade Christmas dinners rather than booking a reservation out to a fancy restaurant with huge portion sizes and tempting dessert displays. In making the decision to cook for the holidays, you know exactly what is going into each dish and have full control over your portion size.
Presentation is key
You’d be quite surprised by the effect the presentation of food can have on a person. In taking an extra minute to arrange your vegetables nicely across a plate, or to have an array of nuts or berries that are aesthetically pleasing, it can trick the mind into thinking it tastes just as good as it looks. This is not to say that it doesn’t taste good, however for me at least, I know I will always choose the cheesecake over the fruit bowl. Be creative and allow yourself to eat things you are deserving of.
Stay mindful of what you are feeding your body
How often do you scarf food down when you’re on the go, munch on foods while wandering around the kitchen or swallow handfuls of popcorn while watching Netflix? When we do this, we are ultimately unaware of the amount we are shoving down our throats. This preoccupation does not aid in choosing healthy choices and avoiding overeating.
Rather than drinking pop alongside your turkey, try an herbal tea or water to continue to stay hydrated. Try quinoa instead of rice or mashed potatoes. Substitute coffee cream for almond milk. These things will make a difference, without altering your meal entirely. Balance is key, always.
Don’t forget that these are the holidays, so you don’t have to go towards full health guru mode. You can still enjoy a few Christmas cookies, so long as you remember to maintain a healthy balance overall.