How To Save Your Waistline at the Holiday Party

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Nutritionists love to eat. After all, they’re regular people too, and just because they’ve trained to know what, how, and when to eat, doesn’t mean they aren’t subject to same temptations we are.

So with the deluge of holiday food – think delicious, creamy, and unbearably irresistible – that comes with the season, we asked our resident (and favourite) nutritionist, Mweia Elias of Empower Nutrition, how she navigates Christmas parties without packing on the pounds.

We were surprised to learn that her answer doesn’t involve saying no to every passing tray or giving up alcohol in its entirety.


Tip #1: Eat Before Your Party

The Number 1 tip to keep in mind when trying to eat clean during the holidays is to not head to your Christmas party hungry. Mweia advises to eat a wholesome, healthy snack or small meal before you leave home. Make sure you to stick to your quota of greens, fibre, and protein, to keep you full and help you resist all the ‘calorific’ and sugary temptations through the evening. Planning a strategy ahead of time is important especially if you have a lot of parties to navigate.


Tip #2: Be Strategic – Pick Protein First

Mweia’s second tip for eating snack smarter at your social function is to start with protein-rich foods like chicken wings, prosciutto, soy or egg-based finger foods when the trays begin to pass. It will help satiate your hunger for longer and you’ll make healthier choices and end up more satisfied if you fill up your plate with these. As hard as it may be to resist, stay away from carb-laden dishes. Think of anything with fried dough or cheesy pastas. The good news is that you can sip champagne as it has far fewer calories than the other kinds of alcohol. No more than two glasses please. We’re being realistic!


Tip #3: Embrace Alternative Options

One of the easiest ways to get your holiday food fix while still staying within healthy guidelines is to swap out traditional, unhealthy ingredients with their more nutritious counterparts. Try brown rice instead of white rice, organic coconut oil instead of soybean oil, and wholewheat bread instead of traditional sides.

Here are two videos to help you get started.

Tip #4: Keep At It

The easiest – but probably the most most important tip –  is to remember to keep your blood sugar level stable so you’re not tempted to eat things that will make you feel bloated or too stuffed. But just in case you slip up, Mweia advises that you should still  plan to  keep up with an exercise programme during the holiday season. If you can’t make it to the gym, try to take a run around your neighbourhood or just press play on your favourite Youtube video workout and follow along. Twenty – or forty minutes – later, your body and waistline will thank you.

Go forth, be merry, and keep that holiday bulge at bay!


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