Weight Loss – If you have been working hard to lose weight during the fall, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to change your goal from weight loss to weight maintenance during the Christmas season. Pay careful attention to portion size as it is so easy to overeat when there are tempting treats around.
Use smaller plates, eat slowly and chew well – all tricks proven to help prevent overeating. Be satisfied with one good sized serving at each meal and avoid snacking. Have salad or herbal tea after dinner instead of sweets. Many people find it very helpful to count calories. Free calorie counters are easy to find online or as aps for your phone. Set a calorie goal for each day, then make it a bit of a game to try to get as many nutrient dense calories (veggies, meat, fish) as you can, while limiting the empty calories (alcohol and sweets).
Restricted Diets – It can be tricky to get through the holiday season if you or a family member is on a restricted diet. If you are on a gluten free diet, you will find recipes for many traditional holiday goodies online including shortbread and fruit cakes. Turkey stuffing made from wild rice instead of bread crumbs is delicious. Turkey, veggies, yams and even cranberry sauce are fine for almost any diet. There are online resources for low glycemic index, dairy free and hypoallergenic diets. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a specific health and diet plan.
Although it can be challenging to get through the holidays and maintain a healthy diet, with a little effort and energy you will be surprised at how smoothly it can be done. Focus on what you can eat, and search online for recipes that fit with your diet. Ask for help if needed. But, most important of all, focus on things other than food – enjoy some relaxing days off work, special holiday activities such decorating the tree or holiday music and just spending time with family and friends.
Written by Dr. Loreen Dawson, B.Sc, ND