Festive food

From Festive to New Year we oscillate from one party to another. A huge homely dinner on Festive Eve to extravagant partying all throughout the Holiday Season. It is natural to lose track of what one is eating and how much one is consuming. Holiday Food is bound to be heavy, greasy, loaded with sugar and high-fat content. Not to mention the uncontrolled consumption of alcohol. We are usually busy at home for the Festive Season and keeping track of how many calories we’re consuming on a daily basis is a  complicated business when you’re surrounded by relatives. Stephanie Hnatiuk, Dietician and Fitness Expert, has suggested using The Hunger Scale, right before you go for a second helping or reaching out for a snack, ask yourself how hungry are you on a scale of one to ten? One representing absolutely famished and ten representing overly full. Five and Six represent satisfactorily full, feeling light and not very hungry. She suggests us to steer clear of any food of your are at six or above on The Hunger Scale.     

Always remember that just for the sake of not overeating you ought not to starve yourself. You must practice self-care and be kind to yourself. Do not make your body suffer, starving yourself before meals will only make you overcompensate and eat even more. The key idea is to control how much you eat and enjoy the holiday treats in moderation. Do not be too strict with yourself. Festive Season may be difficult to navigate through but don’t worry we are here with some simple tips to make sure you can eat smartly throughout the Holidays without any guilt!

Tip 1: Always Hydrate

This is the most effective way to keep yourself from stuffing too much food. Drinking some lukewarm water an hour or 30 mins before meals will help you digest your meals better and will also make you full much quicker. Even between meals when you’re feeling a little peckish you can check if you’re actually in need of any food by drinking a little water first. If the hunger subsides that means you were thirsty in the first place!

Tip 2: Do light workouts

Be physically active! Go for a walk, do some yoga or even some simple stretches! Physical activity helps the food settle down and it metabolizes quickly, it also helps to cope with the mental stress the Holiday season tends to bring. The more stressed out you are the more you’ll binge to cope with it and the best way to avoid that is to go out, soak up some sun and exercise. Exercise releases endorphins which keep us healthy and active.

Tip 3: Use a smaller plate

This sounds too simple but it is very effective! Grab a salad plate or a kiddie plate for dinners and lunches. This is a fun way to trick yourself into thinking you’re eating a lot when you’re actually eating enough. Make sure to load up your plate with veggies and lean meat. Also, minimize your starter intake.

Tip 4: The Dessert Conundrum

Avoiding dessert during the Festive Season is practically impossible. You’ll have to be a little wise and smart. Sharing desserts is always a good idea. Break that cookie in half or cut yourself a smaller piece of cake! Maybe try a little bit of two or three different kinds of dessert instead of eating a lot of one item, this will help you eat less without making you feel like you’ve eaten less. A little restriction will go a long way in this case.

Tip 5: Restrict your Alcohol Intake

Alcohol is a treasure trove of calories. There are lots of different types of alcohol to sample and we tend to get carried away with how much we’re consuming. The best way to keep your intake in control is to drink water between drinks. This will restrict your alcohol intake. Another thing to keep in mind is to keep away from the beer and prefer drinks low in calories. 

Tip 6: Stick to quality over quantity  

The sheer amount of culinary choices during the Festive Season can be mind-boggling, you can end up eating random food which you don’t even like. Once dinner is served don’t get overwhelmed by the huge number of choices, look at all the dishes and pick out your favorites! Stick to the dishes you have picked out as your favorites and don’t go around randomly sampling unknown food items. Make sure to pick out more salads and healthy meats instead of extra processed carbs. Also, since your favorite food items are the ones you are more informed about, you can portion control effectively.

Tip 7: Eat Slowly      

Take time to consume the food on your plate. Munch slowly and steadily, there is no need to race to finish your food. Your brain takes around 15-20 mins to register whether you’re full or not; if you’re gulping food without even giving your brain a chance to work out if you’re full or not you will end up overeating.  

The Festive Season can be mentally taxing, you don’t need to be too hard on yourself. Take one day at a time and don’t panic if you are unable to stick to your pre-planned diet regime. Talk to your dietician to plan your holiday diet before the Festive season starts.


Related blog: Truth about weight loss & sleep apnea: Key things to know


No Text