Holiday gathering tips to avoid feeling like a stuffed turkey.

The holiday season, with its parties, buffets, and family dinners, is synonymous with rich and indulgent food. As you do the Christmas rounds of dinner with friends to family get-togethers, you end up feeling a little more like a stuffed turkey in need of a holiday to recover from the holidays! 

The good news is, you don’t have to do this to yourself. So, this week instead of looking at what you should and shouldn’t eat (that would take the fun out of things!) I will focus on signals, time, taste, and portions—these concepts can help us enjoy festive meals without negative emotions. 


With holiday food, you often consume more than you usually would. This often leads to uncomfortable post-meal sensations of bloating and indigestion, which can be followed by emotions of guilt and shame.  

One concept to think of is signals. Your body is constantly giving you signs, like hunger and thirst, which we all tend to ignore during our busy days. However, once you slow down, pay attention and listen to your body, you then realize when you have eaten enough. Eating more food does not make it taste any better. By overeating, the only person that suffers is yourself.  


Another thing people often do at this time of year is intentionally skip a meal in order to overeat at the next one. It is better to eat when you are hungry. Pay attention to your internal clock instead of external cues like your watch. Don’t eat because the clock indicates that it’s that time of day; focus on internal cues.  


Knowing that many foods during the holidays are indulgent means that you should appreciate them for what they are. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to eat everything in sight. Instead, you might want to focus on a specific food that you really enjoy. Take the time to indulge and really savour the moment with all the richness of flavours and textures. Remember, eating more does not improve the taste! 

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Portions play an important role in enjoying holiday food. Making side dishes of vegetables fun and interesting, like these roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and dates, means that you are less likely to load up on starches and protein and can find an easy balance that won’t leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

If you eat what you enjoy and keep the portions in check, you will end meals feeling comfortable and content. 

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