Happy holidays to you and your family and best wishes for the New Year.
Another year has flown by and we're right in the middle of the silly season, with shopping, parties and all sorts of traditions. It's when we celebrate with our favourite food and wine, catch up with friends and family, and take a break from our daily routines. However, without some control over our caloric intake, it may also mean an extra kilo or two.
The trick is to have a healthy attitude towards 'holiday' food and manage your choices by balancing the calories over several days. Think about your diet over the past few days, were you on the party bus all week? Look ahead to the next few days, are there more celebrations coming up? If you had a feast yesterday, plan a few lighter meals for the next couple of days.
As well as moderating our food, we also have to stay active. Make it a habit. Exercise does more than just burn calories, it's essential for good health and well-being. Take the family out for a bike ride, go for a swim or a long walk on the beach. I often do workouts at the playground while my kids run around. Plan to fit it into your daily routine.
Importantly, don't feel guilty if your diet has gone crazy a few times. Balance your intake over several days and you will have time to regain control. It's ok to enjoy anything in moderation so ask yourself, do I need a taste or a fill? A small serve of the real thing can be satisfying and lessen any sense of craving or of having missed out.
- Go swimming whenever you can. It's great for your general fitness.
- Arrange BBQs or picnics where you can go cycling for an hour or two as well as indulge.
- Before going to the Xmas work functions - eat a small meal such as a salad or soup.
- At events with family and friends encourage people to bring or provide seafood, grilled food, salads with fresh fruit and homemade fruit sorbets for dessert.
- Restaurants. Order entrée size, order fish wherever possible, share a dessert with someone, and go for the fruit-based dessert.
- Ditch the car and walk or cycle everywhere. Carry the shopping home.
- Balance your beverages by drinking sparkling water in between the wine and champas.
- At BBQ's don't fill up on bread and nibbles, eat the meat and salads.
- Make serving small meals a habit by using a smaller plate or bowl.
- Do some form of cardio exercise for 30mins a day.
- Snack on the glorious seasonal summer fruit (berries and tropical fruit are amazing right now).
- Never go to a party hungry (plan ahead, eat a little of something healthy and have a glass of water).
- Don't hover around the food tables nibbling, use a small plate to load up your allowance and be sensible. Pick your absolute favourites.
- Focus on socialising instead of eating, that's why you're really there!
- Avoid sauces from a jar and oily dressings, go for yoghurt dressings instead.
- Add fruit like mango and watermelon to your salads instead of bottled dressing, it's much more delicious! If you are serving nibbles, go for veggie sticks, home made dips and nuts.