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The most flavorful time of the year!

The holiday season poses challenges for people who are trying to watch their weight. Parties and get-togethers tend to focus on food, tempting us to make unhealthy choices and to overeat. Keep a few simple strategies in mind as you make your way through the food fest this year.

Your appetite decreases right after doing heavy exercise. This fact has to do with body temperature, which rises temporarily after a workout. After your temperature returns to normal, your appetite will increase to replace the calories that you burned while exercising. Use this knowledge to your advantage, and plan to work out right before that holiday feast.

If you’re heading out to a small gathering where you expect a meal or a buffet, make a preemptive strike. Eat something healthy before you go. Have your usual healthy meal or snack and then simply sample a few bites at the party. Remember that alcohol supplies a lot of empty calories. Consider drinking tonic water with a slice of lime or a flavored seltzer water instead.

And what do you do about the well-meaning but misguided person who brings candy and baked goods to the office on a daily basis? Treats that sit out and are available all day just cause trouble. Keep your own supply of healthy snacks on hand. Nuts and seeds, raw veggies and hummus dip, a yoghurt, rice crackers and cheese, or a hard-boiled egg all make better snacks that won’t spike your blood sugar and will keep your energy level more stable. Have a fit and healthy holiday season everyone!

--Dr. Kate Kennedy

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