Healthy Eating at Christmas

Enjoying time with family and friends over the Christmas period doesn’t mean that excess food and alcohol needs to become a part of the menu!
Check through the healthy lifestyle tips below, so that unwanted kilos are not something you and your family have to deal with at the end of January;
If drinking alcohol…
• Watch your serving size. Restaurants often serve wine in glasses that are three times the standard serve.
• Be careful with top-ups. Topping up your glass can lead to you losing count of the amount you have been drinking. Finish one glass before accepting a top-up.
• Alternate your drinks. Alternate one alcoholic drink with one non-alcoholic drink such as water.

During the feasting…

1. Avoid going hungry to parties. Eat something light before the party to reduce your chances of snacking on high calorie party food. Some healthy snacks include a 200g tub of reduced fat yoghurt, a bowl of cereal or a cheese and tomato sandwich.

2. Don’t try to lose weight over the Christmas season. Instead, aim to maintain your current weight.

3. Watch your portion sizes. If your will power is weak and you know you will want to finish everything in front of you, use an entrée plate instead of a dinner plate. That way you are sure to eat less.

4. Fill up with foods from the foundation layers of the healthy food pyramid. These foods include vegetables, legumes, fruit and grains foods.

Party Food to Enjoy or Limit

Foods to Enjoy
• Vegetable sticks, pretzels, rice crackers
• Hummus, beetroot, tzatziki, avocado dip
• Sushi
• Sandwiches, quiches
• Fruit salad with yoghurt

Foods to Limit
• Creamy dips
• Pies, sausage rolls, spinach triangles
• Chips, corn chips
• Lollies, candy canes, chocolates
• Cakes and slices with cream

Don’t forget the exercise
• Play with your children. They enjoy when you watch their games, but they LOVE when you play with them. Try outdoor cricket, throwing a Frisbee, bike riding or swimming.
• Set yourself an exercise challenge for the New Year. Fun runs are great events to get involved in. Your local council website should provide details of sporting events held annually in your area.
• If you’re on a holiday, walking is the best way to become familiar with your holiday location. It’s amazing what you can discover when you are on foot.
• Use the facilities at camping grounds, motels or resorts. For example, hiring a tennis court is an inexpensive way to stay entertained for hours.
• Ask for a gym membership as a Christmas present. That way you can stay fit all year round.

Christmas can be a daunting time for many in regards to putting on weight and eating or drinking too much but it doesn’t have to be. Try to follow as many of the above tips as you can and remain vigilant with the choices you make. Here’s to a healthy and happy holiday time!

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