How are there only 9 more Saturday’s until Christmas? Where has 2017 gone?
With the silly season fast approaching, so too will the increased number of social events. The work Christmas party, the Christmas party with friends, the Christmas party with family, and the Christmas party that we are a Plus One to. Then we do it all again for New Years. Being the social beings we are, we love to accompany food with our social gatherings. Throw in a reason to celebrate, aka Christmas and New Years, and we most likely have alcohol added into the mix.
So how do we make it through the festive season without completely undoing all of the hard work that we have been putting in all year? To answer this question I have put together the top 9 ways to stay healthy and still enjoy yourself this festive season.
1. GET RID OF THE GUILT
If you only take away only one tip from this blog, let it be this. Say goodbye to guilt. Let’s be realistic, you will probably eat more, and most likely drink more than you usually do. That is ok. One unhealthy meal isn’t going to make you unhealthy, just like one healthy meal isn’t going to make you healthy. And you know what feeling guilty about it achieves? Absolutely nothing. So remember that you are only human and that you will make mistakes so cut yourself some slack.
2. IS THERE A HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE?
I’m very much a big believer in balance. These days there are so many healthy alternatives to our favourite not-so-healthy treats that it allows us to still enjoy these delicious flavours without it affecting our health goals.
3. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
If you are someone who feels they lack self-control when certain foods are in the kitchen, try to create an environment with less temptation. If you have been super organised and have done your Christmas food shopping early, label it ‘Christmas Food’ and put it away somewhere other than the pantry where you won’t see it on a daily basis and trigger the ‘feeing’ or ‘craving’ for that food. In addition to this, keep your environment healthier by not buying unnecessary treats and saying no to taking home leftovers.
4. CONTRIBUTE TO THE MENU
Everyone’s nutritional habits are different and we all follow various diets. If you are worried that the party you are going to won’t have anything to cater to you, why not ask if you can make or bring something? That way you can be certain there is going to be something there that you are going to like.
5. GIVE INTO YOUR CRAVINGS
By treating ourselves with our favourite ‘naughty’ foods from time to time, we lower our chances of developing some serious cravings, which in turn may lead to binging on those foods. Limiting, restricting or skipping meals only intensifies cravings in the long run. I’m not saying this is an excuse to #yolo and #treatyoself, as long as we aim to find that healthy balance by remembering that a treat is still exactly that – a treat.
6. CONTINUE YOUR EXERCISE REGIME
Whilst we can’t out train a bad diet, for the most part (give or take public holidays) we can continue our usual training regime over this period. Not only will it help keep those extra calories at bay, most of all it will make us feel better too.
7. CARRY A WATER BOTTLE EVERYWHERE
Whilst staying adequately hydrated is important enough by itself, often may of us confuse the feeling of thirst with hunger. Keeping a water bottle close by can ensure that we are regularly taking sips and keeping our bodies well hydrated and leaving ourselves open to eating unnecessary calories.
8. EAT BEFORE YOU GO
If you find yourself in a position where you are attending a function, celebration or party that you know will be ‘deep fried canapés’ only, and you really don’t want to eat them, eat before you go. That way you won’t go there hungry and make a meal out of them.
9. EAT SLOWLY
This is one to adopt into every day life, not just over the festive season. Did you know that it takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to send the message from your stomach to your brain to let it know that it is full? I don’t know about you, but I can eat a lot in 20 minutes, and 20 minutes is a pretty long time to be over eating. There are a couple of ways to slow yourself down with out painfully eating like a sloth. Engaging in conversation throughout your meal is an easy way to slow down the process of devouring your meal. Another great tip is to put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, as opposed to preparing your fork with the next mouthful whilst you’re still chewing on the last fork load.
Author: Cassandra Olholm - Nutritionist and Fitness Trainer
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