The Silly Season is upon us! This usually means we can probably split you all into two groups: The group that is excited to have the excuse to blow out, throw caution to the wind, eat and drink whatever they damn well please. OR you might be apart of the group that is silently (or maybe not so) feeling anxious about how the holiday season will effect all of your hard work and make you start the new year feeling like that Michelin Man character in the Tyre ads.
It’s important that you use your holiday time to relax and enjoy good quality food and chats with good quality people but that doesn’t have to ruin your healthy habits at the same time. Here are 12 quick tips to help make your Christmas and New Year Jolly (but without all the extra wiggle). ENJOY!
- Pre-Planning. Decide ahead of time how you will handle the different events of the season. For days where you haven’t been invited to some swanky party with a free bar-tab, plan healthy meals, snacks, drink lots of water and move your body.
- ALWAYS eat a snack before going to a party. Don’t let hunger rule your choices. Otherwise your “dinner” might end up being a plate full of soft cheese, crackers, alcohol and some tasty dip that Sally brought.
- Indulge – moderately. No need to start shaking and sweating when someone walks past you with a plate of your favourite hourderves. Just take small portions and eat slowly; that way you’ll eat less and savour more.
- Keep a drink in your hand – and no I’m not saying you MUST drink alcohol. Even a Soda Water or sparkling mineral water with a Lime wedge will help keep your hands occupied so they won’t find themselves crawling all over the snack trays. Plus – it keeps you lookin’ classy! Small Sips.
- Feast your eyes first! Before eating, see what is being served. Look for the Protein meals first (Seafood, Meat, Chicken, Beans, egg) as this will take the edge off your appetite which means you will eat less.
- Don’t park up near the food table. Choose your food then move away so you don’t have to keep smelling and seeing the deliciousness that is being offered in front of you. Then you can decide if you REALLY need to go another round of the table (NB: you probably will so just be selective. Protein first!)
- CHEW! Eat slowly and deliberately. If you’re sitting down, put your cutlery down between bites and talk to those around you so your meal will last longer. Split dessert with someone else.
- Be the designated driver. Have one alcoholic drink (make it something you really enjoy) and, for the rest of the evening, choose drinks such as sparkling water, Soda and lemon/lime/mint or juice diluted with soda.
- Be Drink Smart. Alcohol is a fast way to up your Kilojoule intake without actually eating anything! (Did I mention the food buffet table!?) Check out my blog “Alcohol – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” for more information on choosing the best drinks. **COMING TOMORROW**
- Avoid the Sauces, Gravies and Dressings. You would be surprised how quickly they can turn an otherwise OK meal into a sinking pit of high Kilojoule sludge (ok you’re not eating sludge but sauces = very dense meals). Skip them or get them on the side and just dip your food in for taste.
- Portion Control! Do you really need seconds? Or Thirds? Or Elevensies? Probably not and chances are your button on your pants is agreeing with you. Eat Slow, Eat Smart and Eat Less. You can always go back for more if you’re still hungry. And don’t let anyone fill your plate for you because then you have to eat everything on it – you know – ‘cos you don’t want to be rude.
- Don’t forget to move! I know some people who spend their Christmas afternoons lying about with swollen tummies from overindulging and needing to snooze it off. Get up and get walking after your meal to stimulate digestion. A teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in water is great to get the digestive juices flowing and is handy if you experience heartburn or reflux.