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December 16, 2017
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December 16, 2017

Ham, pastelle, ponche de crème, sorrel… Not for everyone!

The Christmas season and New Year’s celebrations are times of merriment, food and drink with family and friends. There can be overindulgence and the consequences—upset stomach, raised blood pressure or insulin levels…hangovers. All can be avoided. The Catholic News got advice from dietitian Kimberly Suraj about how to do this.

  1. Everything in moderation we know, but moderation is how much?

KS: ‘Eating in moderation’ is a common term many dietitians may say or talk about. However, the term may be too vague and a bit difficult to measure. The issue with the term ‘moderation’ is that it is very subjective; it can mean many different things to different people. My idea of moderation could be infrequent (never) while another’s idea of moderation could be frequent! My idea of a small piece or slice could be a bigger piece or slice. It also does not apply to persons who may have a medical condition and need to avoid certain foods. The key to moderation is about finding the right balance between two extremes—deprivation and overindulging. Eating in moderation is not a licence to eat whatever we want when we want. One, serving sizes are attached to each food item and serves as a guide to help us not be deprived nor overindulge. Serving sizes is a topic dietitian try to educate patients and clients about so that they have a better understanding of how much really should be used. When in doubt, of course use small sizes and less frequent. There are also some strategies that we can use that can help us use foods in moderation, if we do not know serving sizes, such as:

  • Out of sight out of mind—by using a small bowl or Ziploc bag you can use or serve smaller portions of the food item and then put the packet away to avoid mindless eating.
  • Portion distortion—using smaller plates and bowls to serve portions so that it would look bigger.
  • Eat slowly. You’ve heard it before but it does take your brain and body a while to register that you are full. Eat meals at a slower pace and chances are you’ll be satisfied with a smaller portion.
  • Keep the leftovers in the kitchen, not on the table. Keeping the extra servings off the table and away can help avoid overeating.
  • Hungry or thirsty? – It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger and snack more frequently than normal. Try to keep a bottle of water by your desk and keep sipping during the day to stay hydrated.

Remember “Everything in moderation… including moderation” ~ Oscar Wilde

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