Christmas Survival Strategies
Tis' the season
As the end of the year and Christmas quickly approaches, many of us will be attending a raft of social functions. While these are a wonderful opportunity to kick back and get into the festive spirit, they also come with their own set of pitfalls – food and alcohol!
Here are some simple tips for how to tackle the Festive Season head on.
Start the day with a bit of exercise, like a walk with your family. This will help to boost your heart rate and have you burning more energy, plus it is a great chance to spend some quality time with the family – away from all the madness.
Start your day with breakfast. When we are hungry, we tend to eat more. Make sure you eat a wholesome breakfast on the day to avoid overeating later on. Good options include poached eggs on wholegrain toast or overnight oats topped with your favourite summer fruit.
Compensate during the rest of day by ensuring you choose your food and drink wisely.
Watch your portions. Only fill one plate of food at a buffet and always fill your plate up with vegetables first. Only have small amounts of foods, which are high in saturated fat, salt or sugar.
Eat slowly. Take time to really enjoy and savour the food you are eating. By taking your time you are less likely to overeat.
Stand away from the food table if you are likely to pick. You will find you eat less if you have to walk over to it.
Have healthy alternatives available. Luckily, Christmas is in the height of summer where salads become a staple on many kiwi tables and fresh berries and stone fruit are readily available - Christmas should be no different. If you are going to someone else's place for your Christmas feast, offer to bring some healthy alternatives. Examples include salads, vege sticks and a low fat dip, fresh fruit kebabs or a fruit salad.
Be mindful of alcohol. While Tis the Season to be jolly, alcohol is high in energy (29kJ/g) and is alcomparable to drinking a glass of liquid fat (37kJ/g) – not a nice ‘mental picture’! Alcohol is also filled with ‘empty kilojoules’. This means it provides no useful nutrients for your body. Try sipping your dinks slowly, alternating one alcoholic drink with a glass of water and using diet or low sugar mixers.
Watch out for chocolates, pies, cakes and chips – these are high usually in energy, sugar, salt and saturated fat. Only have a small amount, if at all.
Trim the visible fat off your ham and take the skin off the turkey or chicken. This is where the saturated fat hides.
And finally, remember Christmas is ONLY ONE day. Try not to stress too much. Enjoy the day and all it has to offer.