The festive season brings so many reasons to celebrate however these happy occasions can also double as diet disasters! How many of us relish in sharing celebratory meals, drinks and special holiday treats but then live to regret the overindulgence in early January? It is very tempting to fall into unhealthy holiday eating patterns so here are some Christmas survival tips for this year, and every year.
- Sit down to eat at parties. Separate yourself from the buffet table and avoid the temptation of continual grazing whilst standing.
- Go easy on the bubbles. Alcohol contains empty calories and will leave less room in your tummy for the yummy food on offer. Drinking water before having an alcoholic beverage (and between alcoholic drinks) is also a good idea as you will be less likely to gulp down the vino to quench your thirst.
- Be selective. Choose foods that are special at Christmas time and avoid the sickly-full feeling after gorging on everything on offer. If you have multiple functions in one day, eat lightly and skip a course if you need to.
- Don’t forget exercise. Not only does this help to compensate for the extra food consumption but most importantly avoids sabotaging all the hard work you’ve done to look fabulous in the lead up to the festive season. You’ll never regret a workout, even if it is as little as a 20-minute power walk!
- Be assertive. Don’t feel as though you have to say yes to everyone that offers you food or drink and leave what you don’t want as you shouldn’t feel obliged to clear your plate. If you are not hungry or feel full, listen to your body.
- Plan ahead. Look at your calendar and see how many social events you have planned and decide which parties you’ll enjoy some additional food or drink and which meals you’ll be able to have more control over.
- Make a Pre-New Year’s Resolution. Commit to maintaining your consistent healthy eating pattern, training schedule and weight during the holiday period. Step on the scale weekly to stay accountable to what your weight is doing.
- Try Mindful Eating. Whilst the delicious food is often in abundance, aim to be mindful and savour the food you do choose to eat. For more see the blog ‘Soul Food- think before you chew’.
A lasting thought… The British Nutrition Foundation advises that on average we put on 0.5-1kg over the holiday period! Yikes! Over a few years these festive indulgences can lead to considerable weight gain so try your best to avoid the trap of relaxing dietary standards too much and don’t forget to enjoy plenty of outdoor activity during the sun-kissed Australian summer!