Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES - BY RACHEL HANNAH

HOL­I­DAYS ARE A great time to taper down train­ing and catch up with fam­ily and friends. While it’s a good op­por­tu­nity to rest and re­cover, ex­tra calo­ries are sure to creep in this time of year thanks to a mul­ti­tude of so­cial events and higher calo­rie foods on of­fer more read­ily than usual. Ex­er­cise low­ers ap­petite. It’s im­por­tant to be cog­nizant of this since a po­ten­tial in­crease in ap­petite, com­bined with read­ily avail­able foods (a com­bi­na­tion of sugar, fat and salt) could sky-rocket calo­rie con­sump­tion. So, how do you main­tain your healthy eat­ing habits dur­ing a fam­ily feast or hol­i­day party? The fol­low­ing guide­lines can help you make healthy choices and limit temp­ta­tions not just dur­ing the hol­i­days, but also on other spe­cial oc­ca­sions. avoid­ing deep-fried foods, stick­ing to one plate or bal­anc­ing a high-calo­rie item (high­fat hors-d’oeu­vre) with a low-calo­rie food (veg­eta­bles or fruit). De­cide ahead of time how many drinks you want to have. A drink of 5 oz. wine, 12 oz. beer, or 1 ½ oz. hard liquor is be­tween 100 to 150 calo­ries. Be ready to han­dle so­cial pres­sures by think­ing of some po­lite ways ahead of time to turn down drinks. Re­mem­ber that the more you drink, the weaker your re­solve to stick to your plan. A good strat­egy is to de­lay the first drink, ide­ally un­til the meal or shortly af­ter. Avoid skip­ping break­fast or lunch so you can splurge at an event. The dan­ger of eat­ing too lit­tle through the day is that you will ar­rive at the event feel­ing rav­en­ous. It’s hard to eat slowly and mod­er­ately when feel­ing hun­gry. Have a pro­tein-rich snack such as a hand­ful of nuts, low-fat cheese, half a pro­tein bar or a yo­gurt and fruit to help man­age your hunger an hour or two be­fore the event. If you’re meet­ing with fam­ily or friends in a home en­vi­ron­ment, of­fer to bring a dish. Your host will greatly ap­pre­ci­ate the help and you know you will have a good menu op­tion to choose from. Try a veg­etable tray with hum­mus and a Greek yo­gurt-based dip. A fresh salad with mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles will give you a healthy and colour­ful op­tion to load your plate with. Con­sider bring­ing a fancy fruit tray for dessert with yo­gurt dip.

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