Staying committed to your health goals over the Christmas period doesn’t mean you have to be rigid, count your calories or deprive yourself. Food is more than just fuel and its often at the centre of celebrations such as Christmas, You can stay on track and still enjoy the delicious food on offer by following these five simple tips:
1. Don’t arrive hungry
Some people might have the attitude that if they’re having a big lunch they will skip breakfast or have something light in the morning. This often backfires. Try your best not to arrive hungry as you will most likely overeat and will be more inclined to reach or snack on calorie dense foods! Have a meal or snack a couple of hours beforehand with some good quality protein and fibre to keep you feeling full and satisfied. This might be yoghurt & muesli, eggs on seeded or sourdough bread, a chicken wholemeal wrap, a stir-fry with basmati rice or a tin of tuna or salmon with avocado on seeded crackers.
2. Have a balanced attitude
A lot of people throw in the towel as soon as the silly season rolls in, and seem to think that having some control over what they’re eating and drinking is impossible or simply too hard. Try your best to approach this Christmas with a positive and balanced attitude. One nutritious meal doesn’t automatically make you healthy, and one less nutritious meal or a series of indulgent meals doesn’t automatically make you unhealthy. Yes it is most likely that we will overindulge and consume more food than usual over the christmas break and it’s best not to feel guilty about this!
3. Keep moving
Why not take advantage of the time off work and get moving a little more. Starting the day with some physical activity is a positive way to start the day. Christmas time is a time where people commonly fall off the exercise bandwagon, or delay the idea of getting fit. Exercise not only helps with maintaining weight but also helps to increase energy levels, reduce stress levels, boost mood and improve sleep. Moving your body might look like going for a walk, swim, bushwalk, bike ride or run!
4. Rethink your drink
Christmas time is often when many of us overindulge in alcohol. Our bodies are not very good at registering the calories we consume from fluids so go easy on the alcohol and other drinks such as juice, soft-drinks and flavoured waters. These drinks often contain empty calories with very little nutrition and can quickly add up. If you are drinking alcohol consider some alcohol free days or alternating your alcohol with mineral water. Opt for water, kombucha or fruit infused mineral waters with no added sugars.
5. Fill up half your plate with salad or veggies
Christmas is often a time where we eat larger portions than usual and indulge in more calorie-dense foods. One way to balance your calorie intake is by aiming to fill half of your plate up with salad and non-starchy vegetables which contain a small amount of calories but a lot of fluid, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and which help to keep us full. It also means you can eat a big plate of food while still balancing your caloric intake. Roasted or grilled vegetables, fresh salads, bbq vegetable skewers and raw vegetables on a platter are some simple ideas.
Looking to smash your health goals in 2023? Book in with one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians at Eatsense today!