By Chef Selwyn Richards
While most people do indulge a little, it’s not necessary to go off the deep end to have a great time this holiday season. To keep your waistline from expanding to Santa-proportions, use these tips to keep you on track throughout the holidays.
It can be challenging when you attend that potluck lunch or dinner at Aunt Janice’s, but we don’t have that to contend with this year. While dining with your immediate family, it’s polite to try everything, and you can still enjoy yourself without offending anyone.
* Choose smaller portions
You don’t need a mountain of mashed potatoes with a cup of gravy. Simply choose to eat less of each food and give your stomach time to settle before attempting to get any seconds.
* Use a smaller plate
Dinner plates are often larger than we need, and an appetizer plate fits all the nutrition required. While you may not want to try this at Aunt Janice’s dinner table next year, it’s great practice at your own home or when surveying a buffet table.
* Put more vegetables on your plate
You can’t go wrong with vegetables, but avoid adding butter and other sauces. Just a little pepper to bring out the natural flavor is all you need.
* Plan ahead
If you know you’re going to have a big lunch, plan a light and healthy dinner. Or if dinner is going to be an indulgent event, choose a nice big salad with a little bit of whole wheat bread for lunch.
* If you receive treats, share them
If your home looks like a Hershey’s factory, consider donating your extras to the food bank.
* Reduce the sugar
Obviously, too much sugar is not good for you, but the consumption of sugar can lead to cravings for more sugar, creating a vicious cycle for your diet during the holidays.
* Reduce your alcohol consumption
Not only does it add extra calories, it loosens your inhibitions and can lead you to make poor food choices.
* Steam your vegetables
When preparing your own meals or contributing to a meal, steam your vegetables and add seasonings, instead of cooking in oil or adding unnecessary fat.
As you can see, there’s still plenty of room to enjoy your food and family this holiday season. Just curb your portions, choose healthier options and indulge a little, now and then.
Selwyn Richards is an award-winning master chef. He is also the President and Executive Chef at The Art of Catering Inc. and is the author of “The Art of Cooking: Soul of The Caribbean”. Chef Selwyn can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone — (905) 619-1059.