Mindful indulging over the festive season

With the Christmas season upon us and Christmas Day fast approaching it’s generally a time where our “routine like lifestyles” can be a little more relaxed. For many, the festive season can traditionally involve end of year work functions/cocktail parties, farewells and family get togethers.

It’s a time where we tend to let the good habits fall away and overindulge in rich foods and alcohol.

To get through the festive period without too much impact on your health and waistline, whilst still enjoying all the festivities of the season, try these top tips to be mindful not to overindulge and enjoy a healthier Christmas.

Remember to:

  • eat breakfast – start Christmas day with a nutritious breakfast to avoid temptation and overindulging later in the day
    • eating breakfast will help to keep hunger at bay and will also kick start your metabolism
  • choose “healthier” party snacks. Try to avoid snacking on high-fat foods which include crackers, crisps, pastries, chocolates & lollies. Choose snacks that will provide the body with nutrients such as – vegetable sticks with dip (hummus, beetroot, tzatziki, avocado, tomato salsa), fruit, nuts, wholegrain sandwiches and salads
  • avoid nibbling on snack foods just because they are there in front of you
  • encourage guests to take any left overs home so you are not tempted to over-indulge the following day
  • watch your portion size;
    • if portion control is your weakness opt for an entrée size plate
    • try to fill your plate with majority vegetables/salads & grilled skinless meats (ham, turkey, pork) and seafood
  • take into account your feeling of fullness;
    • once you’ve eaten, if you can, resist temptation to load your plate back up and wait 5-10 minutes to see how you feel
    • satiation takes approximately 20-30 minutes, therefore waiting a few extra minutes after eating can help you avoid over eating
  • drink smart – one of the big weight gain culprits over the festive season is alcohol:
    • not only is it high in calories, it also increases hunger and lowers your inhibitions making you more likely to eat things you normally wouldn’t
    • the general rule of thumb is to alternate alcoholic beverages with water (this will not only keep you hydrated but also space your drinks throughout the day)
  • stay motivated and keep exercising. It’s all too easy to stop your regular exercise routine in the hype of the Christmas season. If anything, this is probably the best time to keep your body moving with all the extra food and goodies that the festive season brings with it. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, even if it’s as simple as a daily morning walk with the family pets, playing with the kids in the backyard or a game of family cricket down at the local park.
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200g turkey with stuffing, 130g honey leg ham, 220g roasted white potato, 3 tablespoons gravy, 40g pork crackling, 1 serving of mixed vegetables (brocolli, cauliflower, carrot) with 3 tablespoons white sauce

Calories: 974

70g turkey with stuffing, 30g honey leg ham, 3 prawns, 1 tablespoon of gravy, 50g roasted sweet potato, 100g roasted pumpkin, 2 serving of mixed vegetables (brocolli, cauliflower, carrot), 1 serving mixed garden salad

Calories: 402