We all know how crazy the festive season can be. Work parties, family dinners, barbeques with friends…the temptation to overindulge is stronger than ever! Especially when the focal point of most of these get togethers is food and alcohol.
What if I told you that you can enjoy all these occasions, and still be healthy? In other words, you can have your cake, and eat it too.
Read on to find out our Nutritionists’ top tips to staying healthy over the silly season.
1. Let Go of the ‘All or Nothing’ Mentality
Many people instantly think December is a complete write off for all health goals, but it is important not to go into the festive season with this mindset. Indulgence is a part of a healthy balanced diet, and feeling guilty for having that slice of cake, or a bit more alcohol than usual can be more detrimental to your health than the actual food or drink itself!
Importantly, you do not need to restrict calories before or after an event to make up for what you ate or drank. Instead, be extra kind to your body, hydrate often, and include an extra few serves of fruits and vegetables to get in the important micronutrients our body needs to thrive.
Remember, everything is okay in moderation. As a guide, we like to use the 80/20 approach. This means 80 percent of the time opting for nutritious food choices, and the remaining 20 percent is made up of your favourite, more indulgent and delicious treats.
2. Make Time to Move Your Body
Even though the Christmas period can be hectic, we still need to be making time for exercise most days. Whether it’s a swim at the local beach, an early morning walk before work or an evening gym session, exercising can make us feel physically and mentally stronger, and can help to keep a bit of routine in what seems like a timeless phase between Christmas and New Year’s.
In saying this, if you don’t have time to exercise for a few days, that is totally okay. It doesn’t mean that you need to restrict yourself or enjoy yourself less. Go easy on yourself and make time for exercise when you can.
3. Choose Lower Calorie Drink Options
Most people will consume some alcohol over the festive season, and that is nothing to feel guilty about. Alcoholic beverages are what we call ‘empty calories’ as they contain no nutrients, but many can contain high amounts of calories. To maintain a healthy balance over this period:
- Opt for alcoholic drinks that are lower in sugar and calories such as homemade cocktails with fresh fruit and herbs, spirits mixed with soda water and fruit
- Drink a glass of water for every drink consumed
- Change it up and have a refreshing kombucha or low sugar flavoured sparkling water
- Try to have at least 4 alcohol free days a week
4. Make Smart Choices
We get it. You get to the party and all the food looks amazing. You want to try a bit of everything. But sometimes we need to listen to our body and find out what we actually need rather than what we want.
When at a party or gathering, to avoid overindulging attempt to stand away from platter tables and finger food. Those who stand around the table often end up mindlessly eating more small nibbles, which can add up in terms of calories. Additionally, it may be a good idea to bring your own healthy platter that you can snack on instead!
With these simple tips you can stay healthy, but still enjoy the festive season and all that comes with it. If you still feel as though you want some more guidance in this area, book in an express consult with our experienced Clinical Nutritionist. There are only a couple of bookings left until the end of the year, so get in while you can!