Surviving the rest of the festive Season

12 January 2012

Just when we think we’ve gotten through the worst of it, we still have all the New Year’s celebrations to get through, not to mention holidays, summer catch up with friends, Australia day long weekend BBQ’s etc. So to ensure you get the most out of the rest of the summer season whilst still maintaining your health, here are some practical tips you can apply to keep yourself on an even keel whilst still enjoying yourself!

It’s all about balance!

If you’re over eating and drinking more alcohol than usual without exercising and not drinking enough water, you’re going to put on weight! It’s not rocket science.

1. No Guilt There is no need to abstain from celebrating – you have earned it. So enjoy it without feeling guilty, just employ some of the strategies below.

2. Pace yourself Regardless of if you’re having lunch or dinner at friend’s / family’s homes, out at dinner or picnic, always remember, you choose what you eat – you’re in control. Put smaller portions of food on your plate and go back for more if you want more. Eat to satisfy your hunger, not to get stuffed. It takes 20 minutes before your brain registers you’re full – so DON’T stuff yourself because it won’t register for a little while and then you’ll feel ill.

Breakfast: Is a great time to eat well as we usually don’t socialize as much over breakfast as we do other meals. Regardless, here are some healthy choices that will give you a great start to the day. Avoid fatty, rich meals like bacon and sausages and have poached eggs rather than fried. Avoid sugar laden foods like prepackaged cereals. Eat fresh fruit with yoghurt (not cream) or oats with fresh banana, berries and nuts or LSA (linseed, sunflower seeds & almonds). Buffets: Choose a smaller plate rather than the huge dinner plates which are often provided. Try small portions of all the things you’d like and go back and get more if you like it.Fill 1/2 of your plate with vegies or salad. It will fill you up with wonderfully healthy, nutrient dense food. Include 1/4 lean protein fish, chicken, meat or legumes and 1/4 grains. Avoid creamy sauces.

Dinner: Avoid creamy, fatty, fried foods and stick for cleaner tomato based sauces. Have your dressings or sauces on the side, then you can add a little without all the fat. Ordering dessert? Have an entree sized main to keep room for dessert. Eat regularly through the day and have a light snack before dinner or lunch if you’re hungry. That way you won’t gorge yourself on unhealthy foods. We often make poor food choices when we’re starving.

3. Alcohol Enjoy a few drinks, if you enjoy a drink or two. You’ve earned it but heed these tips. Drink in moderation. Try to have a glass of water for every alcoholic drink. Add soda or mineral water as a mixer. There’s far less sugar and additives whilst you can still enjoy your mixed drink. Avoid cocktails with lots of cream or sugar syrup in them. Instead opt for fruit or soda based options. Avoid temptation and offer to be the designated driver. Your body and your friends will love you for it Eat something and drink water before you drink. It will reduce the effect and the amount of alcohol you consume. You’ll be thank full the next day when you’ve reduced or alleviated your hangover.

4. Exercise. Whilst everyone loves relaxing and indulging at this time of year, this is a perfect time to organize some exercise and take advantage of the great weather. •Organize picnic or BBQ’s where cricket, tennis, football or volleyball are included in the activities. It’s great to get outdoors and will boost your vitamin D levels (ensure you’re sun smart) and it’s a wonderful way to bond with your family and friends whilst doing your body a favour. •Go for daily walks especially if your away and enjoy the scenery. •Swimming is awesome for the body, whether you’re at the beach, local pool or in the backyard. It’s not only physically beneficial but a great way to socialize and most importantly “have fun!’. Don’t forget to take your regular nutrients like multivitamins and probiotics. These are even more important during this period especially when we’re over indulging. There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the festive season whilst still looking after yourself.

Try these easy strategies to ensure you relax and unwind whilst looking after yourself. For more information, book in a consultation to see Lina Capovilla – Nutritionist – who can give you more strategies on how to enjoy and look after yourself during the festivities, help you get back into good health habits or achieve your health goals in the new year!