Whilst it may seem like a good idea, trying to deprive yourself completely over the holiday season is the quickest way of cancelling out any gains you’ve achieved. You’ll feel miserable and will be ten times more likely to over-indulge! At the same token, using the festive season as an excuse to go all out with indulgence at every opportunity will leave you consuming 10 times more calories than you would have done if you'd just enjoyed a little indulgence on selected days or functions.
So then, how do you get through the festive season without ruining all your hard work, whilst still having fun? Here are some tips to help you stay healthy over the party season:
Only eat when you’re hungry. You may be on holidays and vegging out at home, but don’t turn that into an excuse for constant snack attacks! When you go looking for something to eat, ask yourself – AM I HUNGRY OR AM I JUST BORED? If it’s boredom, don’t eat for the sake to it, go for a walk or play with the kids. You could put a sign on your fridge asking yourself “Am I hungry?”
If you’re hosting a function buy a pack of cheap plastic containers and send any naughty leftovers home with friends or package them into meals and freeze them for another time.
If friends bring over chocolates or sweets etc. as gifts, take them over to your neighbours. For most of us, having them in the home is too much of a temptation
If you’re baking cookies, slices etc., make them in advance and freeze them so that they’re beyond reach. You can then bring them out for when your guests arrive.
OUT FOR DINNER OR AT A FUNCTION
Invitations are coming in thick and fast, but you don’t have to accept every one. There’s nothing like a boring party to have you reaching for more food and drinks! Only attend the events that are important to you and that you are likely to enjoy. Let the others go.
Schedule time for some exercise either the day of the event or the day after (or both!)
If you’re going out for dinner, find out where you’re going in advance and take a look at the menu online. That way you can decide on a healthier choice before you arrive. Try and ensure your plate is made up of 25% protein, 25% carbohydrate (wholegrain or low GI if possible) and the remaining 50% salad or veggies. Avoid deep fried food and creamy sauces or dressings or ask for them on the side so you can eat them sparingly.
Eat something before going to a function where nibblies or finger food will be served – a light meal or even a protein shake. By the time you arrive, you won’t be tempted to eat every morsel in sight!
Be selective when choosing what to put on your plate at a buffet. Then sit as far away from the buffet table as possible and enjoy what you select.
If you tend to eat quickly, SLOW DOWN. It takes around 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full.
As much as possible, stay away from beer, cider, cocktails, soft drinks and juices. Choose vodka with soda, wine or champagne and alternate each alcoholic drink with a sparkling water. Order it in a wine glass to help you forget it’s non alcoholic!
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST
Give the guilt a miss, it’s just another holiday stress! If you do put a little weight on, I will get you back on track quickly. Remember to eat smart, stay active, get enough sleep, and have a happy and healthy holiday!