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Palliser Primary Care Network

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Holiday Eating

A big part of our Christmas holidays revolves around eating.  Enjoying the festive foods while still meeting our health goals can be a difficult process. From what we drink to choosing from the selection of rich goodies, and even how we eat between the big events on our calendar, can all work for us or against us. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the holiday eating temptations.

1.  Think before you choose your drink! Beverages add up to a lot of extra calories, especially sweet drinks and alcoholic drinks. One cup (250mL) of eggnog is 223 kcals* and a small Tim Hortons hot chocolate is 240 kcals*. Even one shot (1.5 oz) of Bailey's is 130 kcals*. Two glasses of wine in an evening adds up to almost 300 kcals*.  Try a spritzer instead of pop, or use flavoured coffee beans rather than adding flavoured creamers. Make an infused water with berries, mint or cucumbers for a special drink instead of sugar-laden fruit juices or punch.

2.  At big meals, buffet dinners or potlucks, we can run the risk of overeating simply because we want to try it all! Try scanning all the food choices first, then choosing only select items that you really want to try. Maybe set up a plan beforehand so that you know you want to choose something new or choose a tried-and-true favourite. Where you seat yourself might also help you limit trips to the buffet table. If you sit further away you may be less tempted to go back for more. Keep in mind the rule of having half a plate of vegetables at a meal to help you slow down and feel full.

3.  Keep to regular eating habits as much as possible. Continue to eat 3 meals spread evenly though the day. Skipping a meal in anticipation of an upcoming feast is only going to leave you over-hungry and even more likely to over indulge.

While food continues to dominate our holiday celebrations, make an effort to focus more on the activities that get us moving or keep us distracted from eating too much. You are still in control of what you choose to consume and how much you consume.

Article Submitted by Robin Clark, PCN Dietitian


*Nutrition facts can be found using MyFitnessPal which you can access at or download as a free app from the Google Play and Apple App Stores.