You don’t have to be like most people who put on 2 kilos over the month of December.
There’s no doubt that events at this time of year can challenge your efforts to watch your waist line. Even small indulgences can increase your stress levels and create feelings of guilt.
We want you to enjoy this time with family, friends and work colleagues by feeling confident about managing your food and drink choices. These 10 tips will help get you through this crazy time and come out the other end feeling that you’ve got this.
Skipping a meal because you’re going out that night will only make you ravenous and out of control when you get to your function. Arriving with a comfortably full stomach helps you make better food and portion control choices. It also helps slow down the absorption of alcohol.
If you often find yourself hungry at the end of a night out, pack a small serving of nuts, seeds or a protein bar plus a bottle of water to have on your way home. No more late-night pizza!
Stay away from deep-fried appetisers and meals (this is where arriving hungry does not help you). If you have a choice, avoid buffets or smorgasbords. Always use the ‘one-plate’ rule, and no going back for seconds.
Some hosts may get offended but with a smile say “No thanks”. You may need to practice this beforehand.
If you are the host, have platters of salads and steamed, grilled or stir-fried vegetables. BBQ prawns, fish, meat or chicken provide easy to prepare and cook protein. If you serve a desert serve a fruit, cheese or antipasto platter.
Alcohol is where most of us come undone. Drinking water (and lots of it) will prevent fatigue and leave you with more energy to enjoy your night and the following day. Alternate two glasses of water between each alcoholic drink and keep your water glass in your ‘drinking’ hand and the alcoholic drink in your ‘non-drinking’ hand, or on the table. Remember, it’s often what you put with your drinks that does the damage. Use low joule drinks like soda water, diet coke, and unflavoured mineral water. Nobody can refill a full glass!
If there’s a dance floor then use it! What better way to have a great night out? You might even plan to walk home from a function – get some fresh air and clear your head. If meeting up with friends during the day suggest a walk and talk instead of, or before a coffee or lunch.
Keep up your regular exercise through the holiday period as you will feel better about yourself when the New Year comes around, and not having to start all over again. If you are on holidays try some new activities like water sports, bush walking, bike riding, swimming, or a family game of touch footie or backyard cricket. Schedule your exercise.
You may find yourself getting to bed slightly later than normal. Just remember it’s as important as ever to get a good night’s sleep but try to maintain regular sleep patterns as much as possible. Don’t forget a walk in the morning sunshine will help your circadian rhythm, sleep and vitamin D levels. Before you go to bed, ask others if they’d like a morning walk.
Stay positive and remember tomorrow is another day. Stay focused and don’t lose sight of your goals. It’s much easier to avoid adding unwanted kilos than trying to lose them later.
Just remember: The decisions we make dictate the lives we lead.
Pre-planning and self-imposed rules make life so much easier and less stressful. They decrease decision fatigue and allows more time to do the things we enjoy.
We hope that by implementing some or all of these tips that time spent with your loved ones will be enjoyable, stress-free and guilt-free.
Enjoy the festive season and feel free to share these tips with friends, family and colleagues.