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”.
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 to offer. If we’re being completely honest, we probably don’t even really like everything that we dish up instead we include it just because it’s available.
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.
3: Avoid liquid calories.
Most brewed, mixed, and processed beverages contain a huge amount 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. By the way, if you’d like some variety, go with a flavoured sparkling water. However, if you do want to splash out, have red rather than white wine (less carbs and more anti-oxidants), carb/calorie lite beer, and alternate your drinks 1-for-1 with water.
4: Arrive Full.
Have you ever gone to the supermarket feeling hungry? How did that turn out? Same thing happens when you show up to a party with a growling stomach .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.
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. Remember: smaller plate = smaller portions = fewer calories. Research has shown that people faced with larger portions will eat beyond the point of fullness and thereby overeat. A smaller plate stops you from “mindlessly” continuing to stuff yourself just because the food is there in front of you.
6: Chew, Chew, Chew.
We all know we are supposed 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. Put your knife and fork down. Take in the conversation, be part of it, then have another mouthful. This helps your digestive system to manage all the food, and also helps your body to register your food intake and tell you when you have had enough.
Always exercise on the morning of a party or big event. The morning is better because you will be less likely to get distracted by other things. Plan to expend more calories (ie. exercise) on the days you know you will be eating and drinking more (ie. day of the party).
Till next time, Melissa 🙂
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