Another festive season has arrived! Christmas parties, work functions, summer barbeques and New Year’s celebrations present many an opportunity to overindulge and undo the good work you’ve done during the year. So what’s the secret to enjoying your food and drink this ‘Silly Season’ without the January bulge?
- Don’t starve yourself - you are more likely to succumb to unhealthier snack temptations with an empty stomach. Make sure you eat before leaving for your function.
- Stay hydrated - thirst can be confused for hunger causing us to overeat, so make sure you are drinking water regularly.
- Choose healthy options - avoid deep-fried foods, pies and pastries, chips and creamy dips. Instead, choose sandwiches with low-fat fillings, fresh fruit, sushi, salsa and veggie sticks. Don’t skimp on salad and vegetables - they will fill you up and balance out your meal.
- ‘Renovate’ your favourite festive recipe - make simple healthy swaps e.g. swapping cream for low-fat natural yoghurt, grilling instead of frying etc.
- Exercise regularly - if you want to indulge in those few extra treats, exercise is a great way to maintain your weight by helping you burn off those extra kilojoules. Increase your physical activity during the day or the day after by taking an extra long walk or bike ride or making an extra visit to the gym.
- Exercise with others - take the opportunity to exercise with others if they also have time off during the holiday period. This way you are making the most of your time off, by exercising and socialising!
- Enjoy yourself - if you go into the season trying to lose weight and only manage to maintain your weight that is still a great achievement. Weight maintenance is better than weight gain and you can always return to any weight loss plan in 2014!
Alcohol can definitely be a part of a healthy lifestyle, however, drinking large amounts can be harmful. For long-term health, it is best to stick to 2 drinks or less on any one day, making sure to have at least 2 alcohol-free days every week. To reduce the risk of injury, try not to have any more than 4 drinks on any one occasion.
- Alternate between an alcoholic drink and plain or sparkling mineral water.
- Know what a standard drink is and be aware of the alcohol content of each drink you consume e.g. one standard drink of wine is only 100mL.
- Avoid pre-mixed drinks as they are excessively high in kilojoules and sugar. You’re better off mixing drinks with soda water.
The bottom line…
The festive season should be filled with joy and cheer not weight-gain fear. By making a conscious decision to moderate your intake of food and drink and being diligent in your efforts, you can effectively maintain your health and your weight through this challenging period. Remember that your diet is only part of the equation...so you will need to stay on track with your physical activities too!
For more information:
A dietitian can provide more information on healthy eating plans. Find an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) at www.daa.asn.au. This article has been prepared by an APD at Corporate Bodies International - www.corporatebodies.com.au