Holiday season and nutrition: a puzzle?

For many, the holiday season rhymes with fatigue and weight gain. The holidays can indeed be a source of concern for people who want to lose or control their weight. How to get through the marathon of family celebrations and other festive events with a smile?

The pleasure of eating

When chatting and celebrating, it can sometimes be more difficult to pay attention to our signals of hunger and fullness. Vigilance is therefore essential during the holiday season, without falling into obsession. Take advantage of the slower pace of meals to savor each bite, and listen to your satiety.

Instead of “cutting out and restricting yourself,” set different goals and enjoy the pleasure of adding healthier foods or replacing some of your food choices with healthier ones. For example, you can add fruits and vegetables, whole grains and plant proteins in your daily diet, more nutritious snacks or cook with staple foods (less processed). The feeling of deprivation will disappear and we will enjoy eating!

For a hunger that has an end

To avoid coming to the meal hungry and having difficulty controlling yourself in the face of the abundance of food, we suggest that you stick to a certain eating routine. Due to the holiday context, however, don’t feel pressured into eating lunch or snacks if you’re not hungry, especially if the last meal the night before was heavy! And since stress and lack of sleep increase appetite, try to rest between preparations and the festivities. For example, you can set aside 30 minutes to go for a walk, or even organize activities outside with friends or family. What could be better than going sliding or skating in a group to let go of your madness and be able to enjoy a wonderful dinner afterwards ?!

Traps to avoid

  • Serve yourself: When you are hosted for a meal, ask permission to serve yourself, in order to control your portions according to their appetite. We should serve ourselves a smaller portion than usual as we know there will be a lot of other things to eat and because we want to taste everything!
  • Appetizers: try them, but don’t overdo it! Choose raw vegetables and fruit and vegetable bites and less breaded foods. E.g .: cherry tomatoes with feta, roasted peppers, fruit and cheese skewers …
  • Alcohol: Alternate with tall glasses of still water, sparkling water or low-sugar mocktails. Limit yourself to a maximum of one alcoholic drink per hour. This will allow you to avoid abuse and “sleepovers”!

For a happy hunger: practical tips

  • Start your meal with a vegetable soup to increase the effect of satiety before the main meal.
  • Find  unsweetened punch recipes by adding more club soda or sparkling water and limiting alcohol. You can add lemon, lime and frozen berries for more variety and flavor!
  • Favor less fatty sauces (for example, instead of a cream sauce, use a demi-glace or red wine sauce …)
  • Offer different varieties of teas and herbal teas at the end of the meal (instead of a coffee), to promote better digestion and better sleep! (Ginger tea or Chai tea, to name a few.)
  • Desserts: Make your own Christmas log with lighter whipped cream and real fruit inside, a crumble with lots of apples or strawberries, a rice pudding with skimmed milk, an angel food cake topped with a multitude homemade strawberries and coulis, healthier cookies (with oatmeal and dark chocolate, ginger and spices, for example), offer blueberries, strawberries or cranberries coated in dark chocolate.

Finally, remember that there is no such thing as a miracle diet, since everyone is unique and metabolizes nutrients differently! And don’t forget that before embarking on different trends, it is better to try to optimize what you are already doing and work around your tastes to keep the pleasure of eating and not lose your motivation afterwards. ‘a month! And don’t forget us in January!


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