One of Toronto’s most popular summer events is the Toronto Rib Fest Food and Music Festival. An annual tradition where families can enjoy a wide range of ribs, other amazing food and music, The Toronto Rib Fest Food and Music Festival raises awareness of food nutrition while supporting efforts to eradicate child hunger. The event is free, but participants are encouraged to make a $2 donation to the cause. This year’s Toronto Rib Fest will take place from Friday June 29th 2012 – Sunday July 2, 2012 at Centennial Park in Mississauga. There is no doubt that the Toronto Rib Fest Food and Musical Festival will continue being a crowd pleaser.
While at the event, food vendors may tempt you to indulge in all the delicious food at your fingertips (and how difficult to resist, it all smells and looks wonderful!!) But it is important to be mindful of your food choices. Too much fun this summer could cause heartache on the scales soon after, and we all know how much easier it is to pack pounds on than to shed them.
According to Statistics Canada, more than 50% of Canadians are either overweight or obese. You don’t have to be considered “obese” for extra weight to pose a hazard to your physical health. Believe it or not, many of the illnesses and conditions that we experience as we age are the result of carrying too much weight, the extra-stress for which places stress on bones and joints, leading to arthritis and a host of other issues.
The key to taking in the Toronto Rib Fest Food and Musical Festival without overdoing it is a tried and true dose of good old moderation. Tempting as it is, you don’t have to pack your belly full of all the tasty delights available. Don’t stuff your stomach to the point where you can feel it. Over eating stretches your stomach and leads to a greater appetite the rest of the time. Try sampling small amounts of different foods and avoid foods that are high in sodium (salt) and fat. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When approaching a vendor, ask them what the healthier options on their menu are. Where drinks are concerned, beer is empty calories. I know, I know, “Rib Fest without beer?!” But if you’re trying to not overdo it, then, again, moderation is key. A beer or two balanced with a bottle of water in between would do wonders to help you still feel satisfied and part of the fun.
Exercise – even the simple task of walking – is another excellent way to offset the calories that easily build at the festival. Walk around as much as possible at the event. Then when you get home consider taking a night-time stroll around the neighbourhood.
Some more healthy eating tips when attending an event like this include:
• Eat everything slowly and SAVOUR the flavour. This will help satisfy your cravings and reduce the urge for seconds.
• Scan the options of all foods available before you dive in and start packing up your plate. Identify the healthiest options, choose your MUST-HAVES and set portion limits.
• Use small plates as well as utensils to limit the amount of food you can fit on your plate and into your mouth!
• Fill half your plate with vegetables for a satisfying feeling with a lower calorie-count. This will also help prevent the temptation for gorging on calorie-dense options later.
• Wait out your cravings! It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that you have eaten. If you are tempted for seconds, distract yourself for at least 20 minutes by sipping on water, decaf tea or coffee – or going for a walk with a friend.
We hope that you have a great time at the Toronto Rib Fest Food and Music Festival and that following these tips encourages you to enjoy it while not compromising your current and future health goals.
Athletic Edge Sports Medicine offers a fantastic program that helps people improve health, lose weight and get in shape. LIVE LEAN includes education on nutrition, fitness training, behaviour modification techniques, professional and group support, and a personalized weight loss plan. Many health benefit plans offer coverage for Registered Dietician services and which LIVE LEAN is part of. For more information about LIVE LEAN or the programs offered by Athletic Edge Sports Medicine please call 416-800-0800 or visit www.aesm.ca