The holiday season is upon us and that makes some of us stressed…don’t worry, we’re here to calm you down. Instead of saying what ‘not’ to do during the holidays, we decided to go in a more positive direction and give you some suggestions of what ‘yes’ to do so that the period is as festive and pleasant as it should be.
Feeling very hungry is not good for our body and mind. So, do yourself a favor and eat properly in the morning and also lunch, even when there is a big meal that evening. Making sure to have regular meals throughout the day creates order and enables control over the quality and quantity of food, and prevents us from reaching a state of extreme hunger, which is not healthy for the body. Holiday meals often include foods that are not part of our everyday life, in larger quantities and with ingredients that we normally try to avoid (sugar, lots of salt, spicy, etc.). When the body is in a state of extreme hunger, a natural tendency arises to choose lower quality, fattier foods that cause an unpleasant feeling in the stomach, bloating and heaviness. Therefore, on the day of the dinner, make sure to eat a satisfying and light breakfast and lunch.
It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality
During the holidays it is likely that we will come across foods that are less recommended for us, and the thought of meeting them can raise concerns, especially if willpower goes on vacation in honor of the holidays. We say, don’t think negatively, instead of stressing, allow yourself some flexibility during the period, but with limits. Instead of eating a whole slice of honey cake, eat half. The word ‘no’ has a stronger psychological effect than ‘yes, a little’.
There is leisure during the meal
No, the intention is not that you talk out loud, but that you enjoy yourself during the meal. Eat leisurely, without rushing, drink water and try to choose the healthier dishes and less fried and/or fatty dishes. Eat more dishes that have vegetables, salads, soups, etc. Check with yourself, are you already full, if so, stop eating, to avoid the excessive feeling of heaviness.
Everything that adds subtracts
Try to enjoy the soups and salads without the high-fat additions such as soup almonds, croutons, high-fat or commercial sauces. Enjoy the dishes as they are, or with healthy seasoning such as olive oil, lemon, tahini, etc.
We all know that carbonated drinks, natural juices and alcohol are high in calories and sugar, so it is better to reduce them and make sure to drink water, herbal teas and infusions, even during the meal.
Eating sweet foods is part of the holidays. Apple in honey, honey cake, etc. If there is a large selection of desserts, try to focus more on fruits and crackers, but don’t deny yourself a taste because we all want a happy and sweet New Year after all.
In conclusion, enjoy the holiday atmosphere! The holidays are not only food, but renewal, family and the feeling of togetherness.
The article was written in collaboration with Sharon Picker – Consultant Clinical Dietitian – Protea in the Mountain.