By Mary Pletsch 07 Oct 2022 no comment 283 Views

Thanksgiving will be here soon, and Christmas and New Year are not far behind.  This is definitely a time of year for festive feasts with family and friends.  Seasonal food is delicious, but what about after the meals, when you feel bloated, tired, and uncomfortable?  Are you worried about whether your clothes will still fit come the New Year?

The good news is that it’s possible to enjoy holiday meals in a healthy way.

Check out our pointers for healthy holiday eating at Thanksgiving and beyond.

First and foremost, be aware of cultural attitudes at holiday feasts.  Traditionally, Thanksgiving dinner is “pig out time,” as are Christmas parties.  Resist pressure to overeat.  If your host urges you to take more, or if your friends talk about how they intend to indulge – remember that your choices are your own.  You do not need to do what everyone else is doing.  Make choices that you will feel good about afterwards.

Balance your meals by eating proportionally.  Fill at least half your plate with nutritious vegetables.  Vegetables are generally low in calories.  Go easy on the exceptions:  potatoes and corn.  (Corn, though it is often served as a vegetable, is actually a grain!)

Include protein at every meal.  If your plate is short on protein, you’ll be hungry again very quickly, and it’ll be much more tempting to overdo it at dessert.  If you’re vegetarian or vegan, offer to bring a high-protein dish to a holiday feast, so you’ll have protein you can eat on hand.

Some dinner parties may not allow you to fill your own plate.  Remember that you aren’t obligated to eat everything you’re served.  Select the portion you want to eat before you begin and respect those limits.

Remember, buffet is not a competitive sport!  There is no award for eating the most.  Take a modest amount of food on your first pass, loading your plate with vegetables and lean protein.  Then take some time to “let your meal settle.”  Before going back for seconds or thirds, make sure you’re actually unsatisfied.  It usually takes your body about 20 minutes to stop signalling hunger.  Respect the difference between satisfied and stuffed.

The key is moderation

We all enjoy the occasional sweet treat at the holidays.  The key is moderation.  Choose a single small serving of your favourite.  What if you’re handed an oversized serving?  Limit yourself to half.

When you go to a party with finger foods, eat a healthy meal at home first.  If you’re full when you arrive, it’ll be easier to enjoy a treat or two, and less tempting to make a meal out of sweets.

If you enjoy alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.  Avoid driving if there’s any risk of being under the influence.  Remember that alcohol is high in calories and that excessive consumption has additional health risks.

If you’re experiencing difficulties with digestion, chiropractic care can help.  The holidays get busy for many people, so if you’re due for a maintenance visit, schedule it before the hustle and bustle of the season.

Feel your best during the holiday season

Enjoying nutritious foods in reasonably sized portions, properly balanced between vegetables and protein, will allow you to feel your best throughout the holiday season.  You’ll have energy to make the most of all the holidays have to offer.  You’ll be able to enjoy one or two treats without fear, and you’ll have a head start to your New Year’s resolutions.

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