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Dr. Shimi Kang: Maintaining Healthy Habits Through The Holidays

Dr. Shimi Kang: Maintaining Healthy Habits Through The Holidays

You’ve been working hard on your health these past months, yet the holidays bring plenty of temptations to stray from healthy habits. From brunches to dinner parties, family gatherings and specialty festive beverages, our waistlines are bound to suffer! Here are some tips from Dr. Shimi Kang to enjoy the festivities, without throwing your hard work to the wind:

1. Dress to Impress! While it is tempting to break out those comfortable sweaters, looking and feeling good will not only boost your self-esteem, but encourages portion-control in order to avoid discomfort and bloating.

2. Beat Mindless Hunger: According to research, variety stimulates appetite. Before diving into that abundance of food, take a moment to survey your options. Start with a non-alcoholic drink such as sparkling water, or small portions of veggies, fruits or nuts. Once the initial ravenous hunger has passed, your mind should be better-equipped to make healthy choices. Consumer expert Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University recommends limiting yourself to 2 items of food at a time to prevent mindless eating.

3. Eat Well and Eat Frequently! If ever there was a time to become a food snob, it’s now. The American Dietetic Association says, “If you don’t love it, don’t eat it”. Savour your holiday favourites mindfully, skip the foods you get to eat all year long and cut out unnecessary “extras”, such as cheese, gravy and cream. Do not skip meals, as it leads to binge-eating hundreds of extra calories. Stick to small portions throughout the day, maintaining a happy balance between hunger and feeling satiated.

4. Get Physical! Overindulging happens. Luckily, there are many fun activities to partake in over the holiday party season. Such as dancing, ice-skating, charades – basically anything that gets people laughing, moving, and hearts racing.

5. Swap Bevvies: When socializing, it is easy to get carried away with calorie-filled alcoholic beverages. Eggnog, cocktails, wine, craft beers, you name it. Alternate water with a twist of lemon (or your low-calorie, non-alcoholic beverage of choice) in between drinks; this will help not only your waistline, but possibly help avoid regretful party blunders!

Dr. Shimi Kang/December, 2015