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Four Tips for Healthy Dining During the Holidays

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 24, 2019 10:31:08 AM / by Lim Jia Hui

Christmas and New Year are two major holidays that most would look forward to, as family and friends gather to catch up and indulge in festive goodies. Although it’s tempting to let go of diet restrictions during such occasions, consuming large quantities of unhealthy food can bring about health consequences. With these festive occasions approaching soon, you’ll find the following tips useful to keep your diet in control! 

1. Prepare healthy food for your guests

If you’re hosting a food gathering, you can help your guests dine healthily by preparing a healthy plate for them. In this way, your guests will have less to concern over having a greater appetite than usual during the gathering.

As healthy shopping requires an informed decision, we advise that you visit the supermarket when it’s less crowded so that you can read health labels and nutritional panels clearly. In addition, pick healthier alternatives in your ingredients. Instead of using saturated fat like butter, choose unsaturated oil like olive oil. Instead of preparing white rice, cook brown rice as it has more micronutrients and fiber. To top it off, enhance the flavor and appearance of your food using natural ingredients rather than unhealthy sauces and artificial colorings. Fruits and vegetables like beetroot, tomato and raspberries yield shades of purple, red and pink respectively.

Raspberries can be used as natural food coloring to give a pink color.

2. Maintain your regular meal routine

When a food gathering is upcoming, some may have a habit of attending the party on an empty stomach so that they can feast to their hearts’ content. Upsetting your regular meal routine is detrimental to the amount of food that you consume. When your stomach is hungry, the “hunger hormone” ghrelin will be secreted, which causes your appetite to increase. As a result, you will end up eating more food than what you consume on a regular basis. To avoid overeating, stick to your regular meal routine, so that you won’t be too hungry when you attend the gathering. 

As part of adhering to your regular meal routine, make sure the amount of food that you put on your dining plate is comparable to the usual days. To help you in achieving this, you may want to use a smaller plate, as humans have a tendency to fill up our plates no matter their sizes. Also, the fullness you feel after eating should be the same as any other day. If you feel very full, it’s a sign that you have overeaten. As it takes time for your brain to produce the satiety hormone, leptin to make you feel full, pause for 10 minutes before deciding whether you should go for a second serving.

Using a smaller plate during food gatherings helps keep your food intake in check.

3. What goes into your tummy matters

Apart from maintaining your meal routine, what you consume affects healthy dining as well. A trick to eating more healthy food is that you should go for whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your first serving, as these foods make you feel full faster. Therefore, you are less likely to take large quantities of less healthy food in your second serving. Whilst eating fruits and vegetables is a healthier option, taking them with creamy dressings may counteract this effect.

Since it is highly possible that you will be spoiled for choices and it is tough for you to resist the temptation to try all the food, try looking at all the food items available before you fill your plate. In this way, you can prioritize eating healthy starters and your favorite food, rather than finding out later that you missed out on your favorites and engulf them into your already-full tummy. 

Your choice of beverages matters too. As alcohol is laden with calories and induces appetite, it would be best to drink plain water if you want to keep your calorie intake in control.

In your first serving, eat fruits and vegetables as they make you feel full faster.

4. Don’t just focus on eating!

While a significant factor for looking forward to a gathering is the sumptuous food, catching up with your friends and relatives is the main reason why a gathering is held, isn’t it? As such, make interaction as a priority. To avoid turning to food more than you wanted to, stay away from the dining table when talking to your loved ones.

If you’re feeling bold, join the dance floor and shed some calories! If you are feeling less adventurous, singing karaoke with your friends can be a way to burn the extra energy too! 

Ready to attend your next gathering? Keep the above tips in mind and you’re good to go for a fun and healthy time with your family and friends!

Other articles you may like:

5 Tips To Help You Bring Your Loved Ones Home For The Holidays

Benefits of Tea Drinking and Best Brewing Practices

5 Smart Ways To Snack Healthy At Work

Yoga on The Go: 5 Simple Poses to Fit Yoga into Your Busy Schedule

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Topics: Wellness

Lim Jia Hui

Written by Lim Jia Hui

Jia Hui enjoys learning about the breakthroughs in human health and life sciences research, and turn them into bite-sized articles for the busy cosmopolitans. Social media is part of both her career and her hobby, as she loves watching Instagram stories of “loafly doggos”.

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