Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Fireplace Dinner Place Christmas

Christmas is approaching, but it’s not just the goose that might be at risk of plumping up. This time of year often sees people abandoning their diet plans, promising to start fresh in the new year. Why? It starts with generous helpings of turkey, followed by that one extra mince pie and the opening of yet another box of chocolates. While Christmas is a season of indulgence, it doesn’t have to be an all-out affair. You can still revel in the festivities while being mindful of your health. Here’s some advice that could come in handy.

Buy Less Food

Reducing your food purchases not only saves money but also reduces the chances of succumbing to temptation. Scale back on those boxes of chocolates, holiday cookies, and sugar-coated mince pies. Alternatively, swap them out for healthier alternatives, and you’ll feel significantly better as a result.

Prepare Food in a Healthy Way

Cooking your own meals is healthier than indulging in a lot of processed junk, but it’s still possible to harm your body if you cook in an unhealthy manner. For instance, many of us lean towards fry-ups, especially with leftovers from Christmas Day. However, using an air fryer is a great option. Additionally, consider the sugar you incorporate into your baking. While you want your Christmas cake to be sweet, opting for an artificial sweetener is a healthier choice. You can also add extra fruits and nuts instead of layers of enamel-damaging icing.

Go on Long Walks

Feeling stuffed after your Christmas feast? Resist the urge to plop down in front of the TV for a holiday movie. Instead, take a long walk and relish the benefits of fresh air while your meal settles. Of course, bundle up warmly, but a nice stroll can be a fantastic family activity. Find a picturesque spot to stretch your legs, and you’ll also marvel at the natural wonders of this time of year.

Make Specific Goals

Rather than just telling yourself you’ll have only one mince pie after dinner, put your ideals into action. Make a list of the things you want to accomplish during the holiday season. Post it on your refrigerator for a constant reminder to be mindful of your eating habits. There’s a certain satisfaction in checking off the achievements you’ve accomplished, and that personal reward might be more fulfilling than that alluring mince pie or chocolate beckoning from the table.

Limit Your Food Intake

On Christmas Day, one serving of turkey is plenty. Two? That’s what we call overindulgence. Don’t go overboard with more than one main meal a day and cut back on extra courses after dinner. There’ll be plenty of snacks available, but you don’t need to overindulge all day long. You’re in charge of your own destiny this holiday season, so if you know that overeating will lead to discomfort later on, try to exercise some self-discipline. Keep yourself occupied, whether by playing games with the kids or going for that walk we mentioned earlier, and you’ll be less inclined to keep saying ‘just one more’ when there’s little else to do.

We hope you have a wonderful and healthy Christmas!

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Dr. Jade Marie Tomaszewski is a pathologist-in-training at McGill University, where she also did her degree in MSc Pathology. She obtained her medical degree (MD) from the University of the Philippines, after completing a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In her (little) spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, curling up with a book and a large mug of tea, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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