Have you got a busy social calendar this month and into the new year with lots of wonderful festivities with friends and family? It seems everyone is playing catchup from a limited year of connection!

The chances of gaining weight during this period is high and this may leave you with feelings of worry, stress and anxiety. But we don’t want this to be the case as we all deserve to enjoy this festive season. So, read our tips and strategies to ensure you manage your health while still having fun!! 

1.    Be selective with your Christmas food choices 

Festivities tend to initiate a free for all approach, where you may find you forget about all the good intentions that you practice during the week.

  • Prior to heading out to your event, spend 5 minutes planning around the food and the alcohol consumption. This will get you thinking before choosing your meal and allows you the opportunity to be smart by opting for a balanced meal with lean protein, quality carbohydrates and vegetables.

  • Rather than having multiple glasses of cheap wine, choose a special wine or cocktail and take your time enjoy every sip!

  • Instead of grazing all night on the cheese platter, get a few things on your plate, enjoy every mouthful and then position yourself away from the sight of the food. This would make the day or night a more pleasurable experience.  

2.    Don’t skip meals 

One common trap you may fall into is skipping meals leading up to the meal out and arriving ravenous and moody, ready to devour everything that is on offer. When you get to this stage of hunger, you can forget about all your good intentions and make a poor choice based on impulse. This is doing you more harm than good. Don’t save yourself for the meal out, rather, eat at regular intervals with balanced meals and snacks before you attend the night out. However, if the meal out is going to be more calorie dense for example on Christmas Day where there will be potato salad, seafood, turkey, Christmas pudding and pavlova… here are two things to think about: 

  • Portion sizes prior: Have 50% or even more of your plate of non-starchy vegetables with palm size protein and fist size carbohydrates. 

  • Lower calorie snacks: Instead of reaching out to energy dense snacks such as muesli bars, handful of nuts and cheese/crackers, have veggie sticks, fruit or a pod of yoghurt. 

3.    Keep active during the festive season and keep it simple

Yes, it is a busy time of year but make sure to keep up a simple routine of planned movement and exercise. This is going to help you burn the extra calories and keep you focused on eating well throughout the week. It is also important for your mental health, giving you time to do something for yourself!

  • It might be a 20-minute afternoon walk or 30 minute morning swim in the ocean.

  • If you are time poor, split your exercise up over the day or book in an activity with a friend that is more incidental and doesn’t seem like a big commitment.

4.    Be kind to yourself but don’t let things snowball

If you do find yourself indulgencing in a meal with friends and family, it is not the end of the world.

  • Don’t feel guilty or beat yourself up about it as it is 1 meal out of the 21 main meals that you consume in a week. This will not make a large contribution to your nutritional goals.

  • Put it behind you and move on with eating well balanced meals straight away rather than continuing to overeat and opt for poor quality options.

5.    Enjoy yourself – you deserve it

Remember to focus on the flavour, aroma and presentation of all the beautiful food around you as well as the special company.

It’s been a challenging year. There is much to be grateful for 🙂

 Tatiana Bedikian  xx