It’s that time of year again where our diaries are filling up fast with social gatherings, eating out and what seems to be an endless supply of alcohol and treat foods. It is usually this time of year that many of us come to the acceptance that we are going to put on weight, our healthy eating strategies seem to fly out the window and we already know what our new year resolution will be, yep back on the band wagon of healthy eating and daily exercise. But you can still enjoy Christmas and social gatherings without piling on the kilos.
The first tip is Christmas is one day. Don’t look at Christmas as the whole of December and January where you can eat anything and everything and have treat upon treat.
Keep up with your exercise. Time off work over the Christmas period means more time to get outside, enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Play soccer or cricket with the family on the local field, go for a bush walk or go to the beach, play games in the local pool or take a night stroll after dinner and take a look at the Christmas lights around your neighbourhood. Just because gyms may close or team fitness stops over the Christmas period does not mean your exercise needs to.
Alcohol really does not need to be drunk at every social occasion you go to. Try and be the designated driver to a few of your social occasions so you have a responsibility and reason not to drink. Learn how to have a good time without alcohol. Create your own exciting drinks that containg no alcohol such as sparkling mineral water with frozen berries thrown in or a simple diet ginger beer. If you do drink try a low alcoholic beer or wine, or simply slow down your drinking by having smaller glasses or space your drinks with non alcoholic beverages such as water or a diet soft drink.
Keep away from the nibbles and wait for the main meal. You will really save on the kilojoules this way and enjoy your main meal a lot more and you will not be full from all the snacky foods which usually tend to be high in fats and salts. Maintain a good distance from a nibbles table and be sociable and chatty to keep your mind off the pre meal treats.
Continue to bulk your meals up with salads and vegetables. You want to aim to have half your plate with non starchy vegetables or salads are these are the lowest kilojoules foods but due to their fibre and water content they are very filling. If you are entertaining ensure you have plenty of vegetables and salads for you and your guests to fill up on. If out and you get to serve your own meals or you can choose what will be placed in front of you opt for half your meal to be vegetables or salad. If you fall out of luck with all of this simply have a lighter meal at the next meal and keep up with your exercise.
Continue to keep hydrated throughout the festive season with plenty of water and get adequate sleep (8 hours) each night. This will assist in maintaining a healthy active lifestyle throughout what I believe is one of the most enjoyable periods of the year.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year