Nutrition Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Avoiding holiday weight gain can be challenging. We’re not talking about one day of indulgent eating, but weeks of social gatherings, entertaining, office parties, home made treats, and stress! All of which can knock you off your regular eating, exercising, and sleeping routines. Here are a few ways to keep the holiday festivities from creeping onto your waistline!

1. Eat regular meals before heading out to a social gathering – arriving at a party when your famished, will likely lead you to overeat all of the tempting and indulgent appetizers and sweets.

2. Be a food snob – check out the buffet and dessert table for your favourites – indulge and enjoy a modest portion of your faves – instead of trying everything.

3. Eat and enjoy your favourite foods that you can only get over the holidays and skimp on other tasty foods you can have any time of the year.  If turkey stuffing is one of your favourites that you only have at Christmas, then savour every bite and take a pass on the creamy mashed potatoes and the dinner rolls that you can have anytime of the year.

4. When your host insists that you have seconds, politely thank them, tell them you’re full and need to take a breather. They’ll probably forget to ask you again!

5. Clean off your kitchen counter and tabletops of all the sweet and salty treats. Although a plate full of cookies or a jar of holiday candies may look festive, they are all too tempting when they are left in plain site. After you’ve enjoyed your special occasion treat, pack it up and put it away. Decorate your counter and tabletops with non-food items or with healthy options like fruits and nuts-in-the-shell (these take more work to eat than shelled nuts).

6. Meeting up with friends for a holiday coffee? Watch out for coffee house specialty drinks: a Starbucks Grande Eggnog Latte made with nonfat (skim) milk (and no whip cream) will cost you 450 calories. Add a slice of their Holiday Gingerbread Loaf for 400 calories and you’ve eaten the equivalent calories of a McDonalds Big Mac with a side of medium fries.

7. Go easy on the alcohol. Not only do alcohol calories add up quickly – 150 calories for a 5 ounce glass of wine, a regular beer, or a standard mixed drink – having one to two extra drinks during the holiday season can easily add 2,000 to 4,000 calories – which is about the calories required to add a pound to the scale. Alternate between alcoholic drinks and plain or sparkling water.  You’ll save yourself calories and the dreaded day-after hangover that needs a greasy food fix.

 Keep in mind that it’s not what you do between Christmas and New Year’s that makes a lasting impact on your health and weight, but what you do between New Year’s and Christmas that really counts!

Wishing you the best in health,

Maria Fisher, B.Sc., RD
Registered Dietitian

A how-to guide for Changing your relationship with food

Craving Change is an evidence based cognitive-behavioural approach to help patients manage
problematic eating. It teaches individuals to understand internal cues or triggers for cravings and
emotional eating and builds the skills needed to overcome them. Although Craving Change is not a weight loss program, it can help individuals struggling with weight due to problematic eating behaviours.
It can also be helpful for those who:

  • find it challenging to maintain healthy eating habits
  • eat for comfort or in response to strong emotions
  • want to be more skillful when they experience food cravings and temptations

Craving Change workshops will be held in groups of 6-8 patients. The workshop will be run over 5 – 6
sessions (1 hour long) and will be led by the Registered Dietitian.

Our next Craving Change workshop is from January 4th to February 8th, 2018.

We will meet Thursday evenings from 5:30-6:30 at the clinic for a total of 6 sessions.

All patients in the Weight Management program are eligible to take part in these workshops.

 

 *Patients interested in attending this workshop must be able to commit to all 6 sessions. There is a $15 fee associated with the workshop which will cover the cost of the Craving Change Workbook.

Nutrition Advice is Everywhere – How to Tell Fact from Fiction

Nutrition advice from the web and social media is becoming more and more common. It is a convenient way to learn about healthy eating, but its getting harder to figure what’s legitimate and what’s not. So how can you tell fact from fiction? Here are some questions to ask yourself when you come across nutrition advice online:

1. Does the post or article promise a “miracle cure” or “quick fix” with a particular diet or food item? These phrases usually indicate that the information being presented is not scientifically proven. Some other words to watch out for are “cleanse”, “detoxify” and “purify”. If the nutrition claims sound too good to be true, they probably are.
2. Is the website or organization giving nutrition advice a credible source? Are the claims being made by a registered dietitian or another health care professional specializing in nutrition? If not, then you may want to think twice before following their advice.
3. Is the post or article meant to help the reader make healthier food choices or are they trying to sell a product. Do more research before falling for a good sales pitch!

It is sometimes hard to tell which of the countless nutrition claims are based on scientific evidence and which are just fads. Filter the info you come across on the web with the questions above. If you’d like to improve your health with nutrition, don’t consult Dr. Internet – see a Registered Dietitian for the most up to date, evidence based information about healthy eating!