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Keep nutrition on track this Christmas season

For many, the holidays are a time to indulge in treats and rich food.

But chances are a number of people will try to get their diets back on track in the New Year after overdoing it during the holidays. The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has some tips to keep a balance of maintaining a nutritious diet while enjoying your favorite treats.

  • Before going out to a party or holiday dinner, have a nutritious snack like a banana to avoid hunger which will allow you to make better food choices.
  • When out at parties, choose protein first such as shrimp or sushi over “empty” calorie foods such as chips or candy; protein will help curb your appetite.
  • Choose rich foods in smaller quantities or, when cooking, try healthier versions of traditional rich treats by reducing the amount of sugar, salt and fat.
  • Limit your alcohol intake and avoid free refills to keep track of your consumption.
  • Drink plenty of water whether you are out caroling or at home cooking making your holiday feast.
  • Lead with healthy options by serving hummus with vegetables, bean or whole-grain salads, roasted vegetables or sushi.
  • At parties, keep moving and back away from the buffet; standing next to the buffet table makes it too easy to keep reaching for the cheese ball.
  • If weather permits, try walking to and from your social gatherings or park a few blocks away; fitting in exercise wherever possible will help keep your metabolism up.
  • Plan holiday activities that will get you moving; staying active will not only balance out any extra eating you do, it will help manage the added stress that can come with the holidays. Join a loved one for a stroll, lace up your skates, hit the bowling alley or the curling rink!

For more information on nutrition, local public health units can be found on VIHA’s site at: http://www.viha.ca/finding_care/facilities/health_units.htm, or call HealthLink BC’s Dietitian Services toll free at 8-1-1 or email at https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/dietitian/ead/disclaimer.stm.

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