The Silly season can take its toll as we attend all the end-of-year functions and parties leading up to the grand finale – Christmas Day. Keep in mind it is only a couple of weeks – and life is short, so don’t deprive yourselves of having a good time! We tend to stress about all that unhealthy food and drink that we will consume, undoing the whole year’s good work.
The good news is, it is not the end of the world. If you keep the following tips and tricks in mind when attending these functions and parties you will survive the silly season with minimal “damage”.
Tip 1: If You Don’t Love It, Don’t Eat It
Learning to be selective will prove to be a very helpful skill when approaching holiday meals, parties, and buffet lines. Simply put, you don’t need to eat everything that’s offered. If we’re being completely honest, we probably don’t even really like everything that we toss on our plate and instead include it just because it’s available.
Tip 2: Enjoy the Proteins
By nature, protein has a filling-up effect so, fill up on lean proteins. You still leave satisfied and avoid other high-carb food items at the buffet. Another benefit of protein is that it stimulates the release of the hormone glucagon— this helps your body process carbohydrates more effectively by controlling blood sugar and it acts against the fat-storage properties of insulin.
Tip 3: Avoid liquid calories
Most brewed, mixed and processed beverage contain lots and lots of calories. They do nothing to fill you up but quickly skyrockets your number of CCPs (Calories Consumed per Party). So beware of the calories you drink this season. By the way if you’d like some variety go with a flavoured and/or sparkling water. But if you do want to splash out: Have red rather than white wine (less carbs and more anti-oxidants) , carb/calorie lite beer and consider alternating your drinks 1-for-1 with water.
Tip 4: Arrive Full
Have you ever gone to the supermarket hungry? How did that turn out? Same deal applies when you show up to a party with a growling stomach and you mouth watering – you’ll make a bunch of unhealthy choices because everything looks “so good”. Eat a meal (preferably healthy) before the party. That way you can taste some of your favourites on offer without becoming a slave to the growl.
Tip 5: Small Plate, control your portions
Portion control is just about one of the best ways you can control your calorie intake but still enjoy your favourite foods. Also remember: smaller plate = smaller portions = fewer calories across the board. Research has shown that people faced with larger portions will eat beyond the point of fullness and thereby overeat themselves. A smaller plate stops you “mindlessly” continuing to stuff yourself just because the food is there in front of you.
Tip 6: Chew, Chew, Chew
We all know we are suppose to chew our food before we swallow – so do it! A good rule of thumb is to chew each mouthful at least 20 times before swallowing . Also make a conscious effort to take your time between mouthfuls. Take in the conversation, be part of it, then have another mouthful. This does wonders to help your digestive system manage all the food and also helps your body register your food intake and tell you when you have had enough.
Tip 7: Increase Physical Activities
Exercise on the morning of the Christmas party or event. The morning is better because you will be less likely to get distracted by other things (ie. Christmas shopping) Plan to expend more calories (ie. exercise) on the days you know you will be eating and drinking more (ie day of the party).
Keep the following in tricks in mind when attending:
- Limit you visits to buffet and ensure half your plate is vegetables or salad.
- Take your time and eat slowly and get involved in the conversation.
- Dismiss thoughts about getting value for money (overeating is not worth it).
- Stick to one glass of wine.
- Limit yourself to two courses.
- Have an entree-sized main course.
- Share a dessert.
- Skip the garlic/herb bread and stick to plain or none at all.
- Take along a plate of something healthy, such as a salad, Grilled Chicken or Fruit Platter and make sure to have some yourself – you’ll feel better and someone else will also be grateful for the healthy option.
- Serve yourself small portions, and balance your plate with meat, vegetables and grain-based foods such as pasta, rice and bread.
- Have a small taste of the desserts.
But all said and done go out and enjoy your Holiday season and all the best with keeping the weight down – the TEAM at 101 Fitness – Personal and Private training – www.101fitness.co.nz