We’ve discussed before how eating healthy and nutritiously is an important part of maintaining overall health, including your MSK health. With the holidays approaching, it can become increasingly difficult not to over-indulge in treats and other decadent foods that are offered during holiday parties and gatherings. While indulging a little is perfectly acceptable, remembering to be mindful of our habits and health is also important.
Here are some tips to consider during this holiday season:
- Eat regularly. Eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day can help manage hunger and temptation. Plan and prepare your meals and snacks in advance with healthy options at hand. Consult Canada’s Food Guide for suggestions. Skipping meals, for example, can in fact lead to over-indulging later in the day.
- Portion sizes. Eat in moderation and smaller portions. Due to the hustle and bustle, it may be more challenging to be mindful and eat slowly during meals. Try eating smaller portions, but more frequently (depending on hunger).
- Pay attention to what you drink. Often we only pay attention to the food we consume, without minding our beverages. However, what we drink can be even more important than what we eat. For example, some traditional holiday specials such as eggnog, alcohol and punch can be high in sugar. Consider other options such as water, soda water or herbal teas. Otherwise, simply be mindful and consume in moderation when possible.
- When dining out, come ready with a plan. Dining out with friends and family can be a great time to reconnect over food and laughter. Fortunately, most restaurants now have their menus available online for customers to consult. Check out the menu in advance and decide what to order. Restaurants are open to adapt to dietary requirements, so do not be afraid to ask for foods to be baked, grilled, roasted, or steamed.
- Move. You can’t out-run a poor diet, but exercise and physical activity can help manage stress, cravings and over-indulgence during the holiday season. There is no need to wait until January to start moving, start today.
Making good choices over the holidays doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the fun, or avoid treats, it simply means staying mindful and moderating the choices you make. It is important to remember that eating healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent MSK conditions and improve your overall health. If you have any questions, you can always contact your
1Government of British Columbia, “Healthy Tips for the Holidays,” HealthLinkBC, https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/pdf/healthy-tips-for-the-holidays.pdf.