The holiday season is quickly approaching, which also means delicious holiday treats and food. Here are some hints to help you make healthier choices and still enjoy yourself during the holidays!

1. Set realistic goals . . . . Do not set unrealistic goals for yourself. Remember everything is fine in moderation.

2. Don’t skip meals . . . Skipping meals leaves you hungry and likely to over eat the next time you do eat. Eat three meals and snacks (if needed) per day. NEVER arrive hungry to a party!!

3. Portions . . . Use Canada’s Food Guide as a reference point. Fill ½ your plate with vegetables, ¼ with protein, and ¼ with starch. Try filling your plate with less food then you THINK you want, eat, and wait 15-20 minutes before going for seconds. Eat slowly and savor every bite.

4. Watch the sauce . . . Calories add up fast with alcohol. 1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories. Chose non alcoholic drinks more often or try alternating one alcoholic drink with one non alcoholic drink. Try sparkling water mixed with fruit juice, fresh fruit and/or cranberries.

5. Be frugal with Added Fat . . . . Not all fats are created equal (saturated fats are not good for us while unsaturated ones are.) Fat is dense with 1 gram = 9 calories. Use less gravy, sauces, butter, sour cream, dips and dressings or have them on the side so you can be in control of how much you choose to take. Nuts and seeds are good for you, but count them out before you eat them, as they are also a calorie dense.  Try adding chutneys, mustards, horseradish, salsa or flavoured vinegars to add zest and flavour to your meal! Skim fat from gravies or try using milk in place of cream when preparing sauces.

6. Positioning . . . Avoid standing or sitting next to the food as it is too easy to sneak food when you may not even be hungry. Be conscious of what you are eating and your portions. Try using a smaller plate.

7. Plan ahead . . .  Try having a snack before you head out to a holiday gathering so you won’t arrive hungry. Offer to bring something to the party that you know is a healthier option and that you can eat.

8. Be active . . . Try to find different ways to stay active over the holidays.

9. Moderation (worth repeating). . . . .  Everything in moderation!! It’s the holidays and they come once a year. Enjoy!!!

Happy Holidays!