How to maintain healthy eating habits during the holidays

It's a well-known fact: the holiday season is a time for overeating. Find out how to eat well while you are celebrating!

It's common knowledge that the holiday season is a time for overeating. Find out how to eat well while you're celebrating!

Enjoy the pleasures of the palate

With the holidays just around the corner, the child in you tingles with anticipation at the prospect of all the wonderful things to come. There are a thousand and one reasons to rejoice, marvel and treat yourself. As you ring in the New Year and its resolutions, you're planning to have a great time with the people you love.

You can already taste the mouth-watering buffets, enticing desserts, your aunt Gertrude’s legendary meat pie, and your brother-in-law’s celebratory glass of bubbly. Unfortunately, that little voice inside your head is probably there to remind you that eating poorly is not without consequences for your health and well-being!

Here are of the effects of poor or excessive eating.

  • digestive disorders (e.g., stomach upset, acid reflux, nausea, diarrhea, etc.)
  • chronic illness imbalance (e.g. diabetes or hypertension)
  • sleep problems
  • weight gain
  • etc.

All the effort you've put into keeping fit and healthy throughout the year can be compromised during the holidays. At the same time, don't you deserve to spoil yourself after such a hectic year? How can you find a middle ground between allowing the epicurean in you to indulge, and overly limiting yourself with guilt?

Making good choices for yourself

Yes, it is possible to fully enjoy the holidays without having to pay the price later. You can make winning choices to delight your taste buds while easing your conscience. It's up to you. It requires some measure of willpower, awareness and foresight.

Here are some tips on how to enjoy the holidays while maintaining healthy eating habits.

  1. Drink plenty of water. A lot of beverages like soft drinks and alcohol are high in sugar and calories. So, drink them wisely and in moderation. Sipping drinks slowly will help you get the most out of them and limit their impact on your health!

  2. Limit your portion sizes. If you love good food, there's no need to stop yourself from trying everything! Take smaller portions, and don’t skimp on variety. This will make you feel less deprived.

  3. Take the time to savour each bite. When your plate is full, it's tempting to stuff large bites into your mouth or to eat fast. Make sure you do the opposite! Take a break from the fast-paced world we live in and take the time to savour your food. This will give your brain a chance to send you a message at the appropriate time that you are full, and prevent you from overeating.

  4. Make smart food choices. Some foods have less nutritional value than others. For example, choose raw vegetables and salads (full of vitamins and fiber) over the Yule log (which contains sugar and fat). In addition to filling up on vitamins, your stomach will feel fuller by the time you get to dessert and your portions will be more reasonable.

  5. Don’t skip meals.Some people skip meals during the holiday season so they can binge later, at get-togethers with family or friends. But it’s never a good idea to skip meals. You’ll probably end up taking in more calories, and your body will store them, in an effort to compensate for the deprivation you're imposing on it. So, eat sensibly at every meal.

  6. Exercise. Ski, skate, go for a walk, dance—exercise will help you burn off excess calories and help you relax. If you have a workout plan for the year, don't forget to make time for it, despite the numerous parties. Nutrition is important, but so is being active!

  7. Try not to focus on the food. A well dressed and decorated table can be very appealing, but there are so many opportunities to enjoy this time of year: the tree, music, decorations, joyful children, etc. You also get the chance to catch up with those you see less often, but that you like to spend time with. Focus on these occasions and take full advantage of life and enjoy it!

Speak to your pharmacist for advice on the ways to stay healthy during the holiday season.


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How to maintain healthy eating habits during the holidays

It's a well-known fact: the holidays are conducive to weight gain. Find out how to avoid it.
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