Healthy Food Choices This Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us. Special gatherings with family, friends, and plenty of food are in order. But if you are trying to watch your waistline, or simply want to make healthier choices this holiday season, here are 6 tips to make sure you have a great time without needing to keep track of the calorie count!

  1. If faced with a buffet, limit yourself to one plateful.
    • Choose your options wisely, because one plateful is plenty of food for anyone. Don’t forget that you need to leave room for some Christmas baking treats (in moderation!).
  2. Focus half your intake on delicious nutritious veggies.
    • Grab a handful of veggies with a little bit of dip instead of the crackers, breads or deep fried goodies. Faced with a very long buffet of scrumptious options? Half your plate should be filled with greens and vegetables and leave the rest of your plate to indulge on other tasty offerings of your choosing.
  3. Do your best to avoid the deep fried or creamy options
    • Not only do deep fried or creamy dishes have more calories, they are heavy foods and lead to that “Goodness, I ate way too much!” feeling. But, if you’d like to have a taste of those indulgent dishes, take a little mini portion and savor it instead of pilling it on your plate.
  4. Only one slice of bread or a roll at the dinner table
    • Breads and rolls can increase your salt and carbohydrate intake. Only choose one and leave the rest for the other friends and family members to enjoy.
  5. Bring a healthy dish to share.
    • If you are attending a potluck-style dinner party or gathering, bring a healthy dish to share like a vegetable platter with hummus or bean dip, guacamole, or a seasonal salad filled with veggies. That way, you’ll know there is something you can fill up on without the guilt.
  6. Enjoy a glass or two of wine as it has far fewer calories and much less sugar than beer or mixed drinks.
    • White or red wine averages 60-70 calories per glass, whereas a 12-ounce bottled beer and be upwards of 200 calories per serving, and mixed drinks can be even higher. Also, red wine in moderation can help decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease! (Moderation equals 1 glass for women or 2 glasses for men a day).

One night of indulgence will likely not pack on the pounds, though multiple parties and festive evenings can catch up to you. Eat lightly the next day and you’ll be back on track. And most of all, happy holidays and enjoy the time with your loved ones.

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

healthyfood_holidayseason_image3Josée is a Naturopathic Doctor at Ottawa Holistic Wellness Centre. Her clinical focus the study of interactions between the psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body. She focuses on anxiety, stress, insomnia, hormone health and depression which can cause fatigue, digestive complaints, a weak immune system and pain.