Ah, the holiday season…time to get together with family and friends surrounded by lots of great food. If holiday indulgence can be a bit too much for you though and you are already planning to make up for it in the New Year, the following suggestions can help you survive the temptation obstacle course.

Most importantly your mindset going into the holiday eating season will help you stay on track. Wake up each morning planning to treat each day like a regular day. Be conscious of the slippery slope of “well, it’s just one more…”. One more can easily become many more.

Plan ahead. If you know that you will be going out for dinner or cocktail party in the evening, make sure you have a protein-rich breakfast, healthy snacks during the day and a nourishing lunch like a big green salad with salmon, chicken or legumes. You will be getting solid nutrition into your body and a day filled with healthy eating can make some of the worst culprits on the buffet table in the evening a little less appealing.

Have a small healthy bite to eat before heading to a party, for example some whole fruit and nuts, raw vegetables and hummus or a smoothie with some protein powder. The less hungry you are when you arrive, the less inclined you will be to try a little bit of everything.

Drink plain or mineral water in between alcoholic drinks so that you don’t overindulge in alcohol and to help keep your body hydrated.

If you are hosting a party, try to avoid buying or preparing more than is realistically needed for your event to minimize leftovers and reduce the snacking temptation in the days that follow. If you are like me and find it easier not to have sweets or less healthy choices in the house during the rest of the year, that principle certainly works well during the holidays too. Whenever you have control over the menu, including some clean, healthy options such as interesting salads or vegetable dishes may be just the thing that some of your guests are looking for as well.

Keep up with your nutritional supplements and as much of your exercise routine as you can during this period. Regardless of what’s happening around it, your body will continue to seek nutrition and physical activity. Consciously maintaining some healthy habits can be handy touchstones when other routines are temporarily altered.

At parties, choosing fruit, vegetable and lean meat options over fried offerings and rich desserts can be filling and satisfying and will make a little square of tiramisu or chocolate truffle that much more special when you do have it.

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Sandy Badgley, B.A., R.H.N.
214 Carlton Street (Cabbagetown Chiropractic Health Centre), Toronto
First Canadian Place, Suite 5700, Toronto
Phone: 416-915-3156
Fax: 416-915-3177