It’s the season where there are continuous parties that involve eating and drinking. Dietitian, Lyndi Polivnick shares her tips and tricks to keeping your weight in check over the festive season.
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If you’re hosting a party, try to plan ahead
Write a list when shopping for your Christmas meals to prevent you from buying too much and being stuck with a lot of leftovers. Ask your guests to bring a healthy plate or if you are asked to bring something to party, make a healthier option such as a fresh salad or a platter of summer fruits.
We can actually use our Smartphone’s and other electronic devices to help us. There are now apps that manage food records, help you track what you eat and even provide tips on healthy food choices. You can also search the Internet for healthier alternatives and recipes to Christmas classics.
You don’t have to deprive yourself, just eat smaller portions. Try using a smaller plate – you will take less food and eat less.
Try being a healthy host
If you’re hosting a celebration, there are a few ways to make the meal healthier for everyone. Instead of placing the food on the table set the food up in the kitchen encouraging your guests to serve up for themselves reducing the temptation to over eat and go back for seconds. Why not serve sauces and dressings on the side so everyone can choose how much they have.
If you eat too quickly, your plate may be clean while others are still eating. If this happens, you’ll be more inclined to go for seconds. Instead, consciously chew your foods, take sips of water between bites and have a catch up with the person next to you,
It takes you body 20 minutes to realise that you are full. So if you eat slowly, you’ll give your brain enough time to realise that you are satisfied.
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Avoid over-indulging on alcohol
Alcohol contains substantially more energy than carbohydrates or protein, will also increase your appetite and slow down metabolism. Too much alcohol also impairs judgment, so the more you drink, the more you are likely to eat.
Pace yourself – alternate between an alcoholic beverage and water. If you’re mixing drinks, using a low kilojoule mixer could save you thousands of kilojoules. It also helps to keep track of use how much you have had to drink throughout the day.
Take a stroll after a meal or get moving
Find a way to incorporate exercise into the day’s activities. Play a round of cricket between main and dessert, or go for a walk with family members for a catch up and chat.
Walking not only burns calories, it also helps relieve bloating and prevent heartburn.
Choose lighter options
It is always possible and easy to make healthier choices. Here are a few easy tips to making better choices:
– Stack your plate with salads and vegetables and fill up on these first
– Substitute high-energy toppings for low fat versions
– Choose turkey or seafood- Not only is turkey the traditional Christmas meat, it is also extremely high in protein and quite lean. Fish is always a good option and great to serve at lunch.
– Choose low fat cooking methods such as grilling, baking and steaming, rather than frying or roasting.
– Add less fat to dishes and add flavour with herbs and spices that add no extra calories
– Find a friend to share dessert with you – you will halve the calories whilst still enjoying your favourite treats.
Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself
Finally, if you feel there is something indulgent on the menu that you simply cannot resist despite your best intentions, then don’t be too hard on yourself — it’s Christmas after all! Appreciate each mouthful to get the most enjoyment from your meal.