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Eating healthy this Yuletide season

Published:Wednesday | December 8, 2021 | 12:07 AMKeisha Hill/Senior Gleaner Writer

Whether it is sitting around the family dinner table or munching on endless snacks at a party, the holidays mean food. Lots of food. It can be hard to keep from overdoing it, but it is possible. If you are hosting a meal or party, or attending one, try these tips to keep the holidays healthy.

USE A SMALL PLATE: Research shows we tend to fill our plates, no matter what size they are. So, choose a small plate and you won’t be able to fit as much on it. Deep-fried foods, crumbed and battered foods, cheese platter and nuts are all high in fat. Choose fruit, vegetable or bread-based snacks.

START SIMPLE: Fill your plate with veggies, fruits, green salads, and lean meats. If you see a yummy looking side dish that is high in calories, take just a taste of it. You can go back for more later, if you are still hungry. Chances are, after filling up on all that healthy food, you won’t be too hungry. You’ll be better able to resist the casseroles and gravies that looked so good at first.

• WAIT 10 MINUTES: After you have eaten your small plate of healthy choices, wait 10 minutes. This will give your brain the time it needs to tell your stomach if it is full. Often, after that amount of time, our hunger cravings will be satisfied.

• LIMIT ALCOHOL: When you get to the party, start off with a low-calorie, non-alcoholic drink, such as sparkling water or a diet soda. This will help quench your thirst. Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones throughout the evening.

• WHEN YOU EAT, EAT MINDFULLY: Savour each bite. Put your fork down between bites. Focus on the flavour and enjoy what you are eating.

• SOCIALISE AWAY FROM THE FOOD: If you are standing around talking at a party, do it away from the food. You will be less likely to spot something that you cannot resist.

• FIND ACTIVITIES THAT DO NOT INVOLVE FOOD: Take a walk. Grab a few family members and take a stroll around the neighbourhood. Play football in the yard, or engage others in a board game. Take the focus off the food.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of overeating healthy foods. You might think that because the food is good for you, you can eat more of it. But be aware of portion sizes as getting too much of a good thing can be just as bad as eating something unhealthy.