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Lumby, Lavington, Whitevale, Coldstream, Vernon & Cherryville

Your Community Newspaper

Lumby, Lavington, Whitevale, Coldstream, Vernon & Cherryville

Your Community Newspaper

Lumby, Lavington, Whitevale, Coldstream, Vernon & Cherryville

Holiday Snacking – Purpose – Mindset

As the weather takes a colder turn, your diet may change for another reason: the holidays. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, there’s plenty of opportunity for snacking. The rhetoric surrounding holiday eating often paints this as a bad thing, but it all depends on how you approach it.

First thing is that there is nothing wrong with snacking. Secondly, there is nothing wrong with indulging in your favourite treats around the holidays. What’s important is that you are mindful of how much, when and why you are snacking on these treats. As always moderation is key.

If you feel like you often replace nutrient-rich foods with salty and sweet holiday snacks, try setting out more nutrient dense snacking foods. As you’re eating, remember to slow down. Snack foods have the tendency to go down faster than our bodies can register them, meaning you won’t actually realize you’re full until several handfuls later. 

Part of identifying the purpose of snacking is examining your hunger – what’s making you want to eat? Are you hungry or is something else driving your urge—thirst, boredom, or an emotional response? Thirst can easily be mistaken for the sensation of hunger. A glass of water may be all you need. If your craving is led by emotion or boredom, try an activity—walk, ride a bike, call a friend or do a household chore. But if you are truly hungry then that’s when you should try to make efforts to have healthy snacks available. 

Learning how to snack smarter starts with your purpose for eating between meals. Is a snack required in preparation for a workout, recovery or to ensure certain macronutrients are being met, or is it as simple as ensuring from overeating at other times? Answering these kinds of questions lends purpose and direction to help you achieve smarter snacking. Once you figure out the purpose and understand your urge to snack, it’s time to think about what that looks like. The best advice would be to see your snacking as a nutritional opportunity for getting in those nutrients that maybe lacking. Use your snacks to add fibre, healthy fats, protein, and water-rich foods. Create a different mindset by re-framing snacking from chasing comforting holiday treats to gaining a nutritional leg-up. Whole foods or 1 ingredient foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are not only easy snacking foods, but also provide antioxidants, fibre, micronutrients and with the latter two, healthy fats. It could be as simple as an apple and a few nuts or nut butter.

Seeing how close your snack is to its original state can help you identify what are the healthy snacks to target. If whole foods aren’t available because maybe you are travelling, or didn’t have time to prepare, then always opt for minimally processed foods. Look for simple ingredients and minimal sugar, low sodium, and no trans fats on the label.

Remember like anything, developing a new habit is a process. Don’t beat yourself up if a seasonal treat sneaks in now and then. Value the progress you make and you’ll learn to notice how you feel eating healthier, and when you don’t, as this will be the gateway into really solidifying your holiday snacking and beyond. 

Want a fun way to get a head start on Christmas snacking, then join our online “Sweat before the Sweets 30 day challenge.” Prizes, simple exercises and clean eating tips. Look us up on Facebook or Instagram for more information. Or you can simply email us and we will send you the information.  

Mikkie Pollon (Nettles),
Certified Personal Trainer/
Holistic & Sports Nutritionist

Follow DEEM Health on Facebook,
 www.deemhealth.ca or

contact info@deemhealth.ca 
250-541-0411

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