It’s holiday time: enjoy thoughtfully

T’is the season to be jolly. It’s definitely a time of year for enjoyment and partying. The “enjoyment” part, though, is sometimes forgotten. For some, stress can be much more evident whether it be due to family pressures or simply due to missing a loved one. But maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing your decadent delights should not be adding to your stress. While you may be involved in the battle of the bulge, it should not be ruining your holiday celebrations.

A recent piece of advice I heard on a TV about navigating holiday partying made me think of the ridiculousness of how some people have forgotten about being sensible and actually enjoying the season.

The advice? The so-called expert recommended that if you want to drink less over the holidays, just choose an alcoholic beverage you hate.

Huh?

Why drink something you hate? Sure, you will most definitely drink less but what’s the point?  Yes, using smart strategies for managing alcohol consumption over the holidays is a great idea but to me, drinking something you hate is not even on the list. Instead skip the ordinary and have what you love. Savouring only the best is  a great way to minimize the damage.

Here are a few tips survival strategies for imbibing that can help you to come through the celebrations  feeling great. Think of it as survival of the fittest.

•    Be a discerning drinker 
Don’t drink alcohol  on an empty stomach. Blood alcohol levels climb more quickly and to a higher level when you haven’t eaten. The result can be an  increased  appetite  and decreased willpower – hardly  the  combo you’re looking for.

Have  one or two  non-alcohol calorie-free drinks  between  each alcohol-containing beverage.  You’ll consume  less alcohol and feel the better for it the next morning  as  you won’t suffer the dehydrating effects of alcohol. And don’t forget to take your mixers into account.  Sugar-containing soft drinks, tonic water and fruit juices  can add more to your caloric totals than  the alcohol itself. Tomato juice, sugar- free pop and soda water, on the other hand, contribute  few calories in comparison.

•    Don’t share
Your intentions– that is. Telling everyone you’re either watching your alcohol or food intake with other party goers can often be an invitation to be sabotaged. You’ll also make friends or family feel guilty about their choices- likely not something you want to do. As well, disclosing your reasons for  saying no can sometimes be the impetus  for someone to get you to indulge.

•    Get Your ZZZZZZZ
Get enough sleep. If you’re overtired,  willpower can be at a low ebb and you’re much more  likely to overindulge.

As well, exercise for energy and stamina. Those who party hard and  feel the best take part in regular work-outs.  A brisk 20-minute walk will do the trick. It’s  also a super way to work off the stress that often accompanies the holiday season.  If time is short, walk around the mall for 15 – 20 minutes before doing any holiday shopping.

•     Go For the Best
When it comes to   decadent delights,  follow the “10 rule” – take only 1 bite and rate   it on a scale of 1 -10.   Only continue  eating it if it’s a 10.  There’s one sure thing in life, you never regret the 10s.

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What do you think of the strategy of drinking only beverages you hate? Do you dislike it as much as I do? Please share in the comment section below.

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Tips and Tricks

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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