Slimming Through the Holidays

This article appeared in Bread ‘n Molasses magazine a few years ago. It seemed timely to reprint it now with the holidays coming up, and so many Miramichiers taking part in the Mighty Miramichi Biggest Loser contest.

Slimming Through the Holidays.

The holiday season is filled with many gastronomic goodies, but you don’t have to go into it with the intention of over indulging and thus gaining weight. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy

Keep the Balance. You don’t have to overeat, but you also don’t have to deprive yourself of the fruitcake your aunt makes just once a year either. It’s all about keeping the balance. Eat light through the day if you’re invited to turkey dinner in the evening. Don’t make the mistake of starving yourself through the day to save up for dinner. Have a tossed salad with light protein like chicken or tuna for lunch, and some yogourt and fruit as a snack. When dinner comes you won’t be starving, and you’ll have spared enough calories through the day to allow for gravy on your potatoes and some dessert.

Slow & Steady. Eat whatever you want…just don’t eat as much as you want. Serving sizes these days have grown to huge proportions, so it’s no wonder our waist lines have too. When the cake gets passed around, have some, but ask for ½ a slice. Yes you can enjoy a truffle, but just take ONE. The key to small portions is eating slowly, savouring each bite. For the most part we are not “In the Now” when we’re eating. We’re rushing through the meal and shoveling it in, or eating unconsciously in front of the TV, or mindlessly filling our plates at a buffet. Don’t let this be you! Eat with purpose, eat thoughtfully, enjoy each bite, and put your fork down between bites so you don’t end up stuffing one spoonful in before the last one is gone. You’ll find yourself more satisfied when the meal is over, and less likely to go back for seconds or go looking for a huge dessert.

Extra Steps. Make an effort to get in a few extra steps over the holidays. Our holiday get togethers usually center around food, but why not suggest you do an activity together before or after dinner such as snowshoeing, cross country skiing or bowling. Not only will you get exercise but you’ll have fun too! During shopping park further away from the store, and enter the mall at the entrance at the opposite end of where you’ll be shopping. When you’re grocery cart is full and you’re heading for the checkout, take a few more minutes and make an extra loop around the peripheral of the store. If you’re in a hurry or just don’t feel like doing it, think about how you’d love to indulge in all the cheesecakes, eggnogs, and plum puddings of the season, and stay your same size. That might give you the inspiration.

Grab a Plate and Sit Down. Snack stations at parties can be our worst enemy. You know the ones I mean… plates and bowls filled with nuts, hard candy, fruit cake, fudge, cheese balls, and crackers. If you are hungry and want to indulge, then get a plate, choose the snacks you want, and go sit down and eat it. Don’t eat anything standing up! If all your friends are gathered around the snacks and you find the temptation too great, then pop in a mint or piece of gum to keep your hand out of the peanut bowl.