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6 Sensible Tips for Holiday Seasonal Eating Print

6 Sensible Tips for Holiday Seasonal Eating

By Andrea Holwegner, Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc.

KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE!

It is not what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s that makes a difference, but what you do between New Year’s and Christmas! Do not expect perfection-but plan ahead to make good choices.

BE REALISTIC!

Many people gain a few pounds over the holiday season. It is probably wise to choose to maintain your weight over the holidays than to try and lose weight.

TAKE THE FOCUS OFF FOOD

Why not start a new holiday tradition that involves an activity or a craft that does not emphasize food? Some examples may include: snowshoeing, skating, a holiday craft, attending craft sales, or an evening walk to enjoy the Christmas lights.

DRINK LIGHTLY

Drink plenty of water throughout the holidays. Alcoholic beverages can add up to be many “empty calories” (high in calories with low nutritional value). A 6 oz. glass of rum and eggnog can have ~320 calories! Try a low calorie beverage such as mineral water or club soda with a bit of cranberry juice between alcoholic drinks.

WATCH OUT FOR…

  • All or None Thinking All is not lost if you decide to indulge. If you get off track one day, get back on track the next day.
  • Emotional Eating Ask yourself “Am I eating because I am stressed, lonely, or bored rather than because I am truly hungry?”
  • Unconscious Eating When you are eating-solely eat away from distraction. Distance yourself from the food table at a party.

REWARD YOURSELF

Schedule a non-food reward for yourself after putting in the hard work of sticking to your plan. You could buy some new clothes or go for a massage for example.

Holiday Eating

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”

Something that has worked for many of my clients is to take a calendar and “X” off the days you are likely to overeat or indulge in special holiday treats. For example, you may start by placing an “X” on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day and Christmas parties you know you will be attending. For many people even listing the number of holiday functions/parties you will be attending may result in a calendar full of X’s! Try to make healthier choices other days in the month that do not have an “X” placed beside it. This type of planning allows you the freedom to enjoy the holidays but not over do it too often.

5 Factors That Contribute to Weight Gain During the Holiday Season

  1. Food Gifts
  2. Traditional Foods
  3. Christmas Parties
  4. Less Time for Exercise
  5. The “Binge Now, Lose Later” Mindset

1) What to Do With Food Gifts
If you receive a box of chocolates or some other holiday treats, you could rewrap the gift and give it to charity. You could stash the box on your highest shelf until a group of people come over who will enjoy it with you. The treats will disappear fast!

2) Making the Traditional Holiday Meal Healthier
Choose turkey or chicken rather than goose or duck. Baste poultry in broth rather than butter. Use skim or 1% milk in recipes. Sauté vegetables in olive oil rather than butter or margarine. When making stuffing, use whole wheat bread, add less butter/margarine and moisten with chicken broth. Mash potatoes with skim/1% milk /buttermilk/fat-free sour cream. To make a low-fat gravy, pour drippings into a glass measuring cup and place in the freezer. When chilled, skim off the hard layer of fat and then thicken gravy as usual. Choose more veggies and less meat. Finish the meal with a small serving of a light dessert or skip it and have it later since you will likely be stuffed!

(3) Eating Smart At Holiday Parties
Before going out to the party have a nutritious nibble or small snack. Never go to the party hungry! Give yourself permission to taste the holiday treats-but practice portion control. If you are the host/hostess be sure to prepare some healthier alternatives amongst the holiday treats. If you are taking something to a potluck or party, try a nutritious appetizer such as a plate of raw veggies with light dip, a fresh fruit platter, hummus and whole wheat pita, or brushetta and whole wheat baguette. Keep your hands occupied with a glass of water, mineral water, or club soda in one hand and a plate of the healthiest goodies you can find in the other. Distance yourself from the food table. Remember to mingle more than you munch!

4) Finding More Time To Exercise
Don’t neglect your exercise program over the holidays! At least get out and do plenty of walking if you simply can’t adhere to your normal routine. Try exercising first thing in the morning -sometimes as the day goes on it becomes harder and harder to squeeze exercise in. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. When shopping, park far from the store entrances and walk an extra two laps around the mall when finished.

(5) Change Your Mindset
Remind yourself that prevention is easier than trying to diet and exercise away extra pounds. Be aware of emotional eating during the holidays. Try writing down what you eat to increase awareness and keep you on track.


Gifts for Good Health

The time has come to scout for great little gifts for the nutrition-conscious people on your list. Why not try one of the following ideas instead of a box of chocolate?

Fill a basket/bowl full of one of the following and wrap in cellophane and tie with a fancy bow:

  • Fresh fruit such as pears, kiwis, apples, and mandarin oranges
  • Dried fruit such as cranberries/apples/raisins/apricots and nuts/seeds
  • Jar of Cranberry Juice and Mulling spices
  • Jar of homemade preserves (you can get these at most craft sales), and whole wheat crackers (Ryvita, Wasa, Melba toast, Stone Wheat Thins etc.)
  • Bottles of fancy flavored vinegar (eg. herbed, raspberry, balsamic etc.), and oils (eg. rosemary, or garlic flavored olive oil etc.)
  • Oversized ceramic teacups or mugs packaged with an assortment of international teas and colorful napkins.

How About a Healthy cookbook such as:

  • Any of the Anne Lindsay Cookbooks
  • The Loony Spoons/Crazy Plates Cookbook
  • Cook Great Food/Great Food Fast! (Dietitians of Canada)
  • Cooking for the Rushed

Gift Certificate for Nutrition Counselling:
Buy a gift certificate for nutrition counseling for your friend or family. Contact us at info@healthstandnutrition.com or phone (403) 262-3466.

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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