To help you stay in shape through the silly season we’re sharing our tips on staying healthy at Christmas.
1. Be selective
Invites are flying hard and fast, but don’t get caught in the whirlwind and accept every end of year party invite that comes around. There’s nothing like a boring party to have you reaching for more fatty finger foods and calorie-laden alcoholic drinks!
RSVP only to the events that are important or you are likely to enjoy and let the others go. This goes for when you’re at an event too – if you’re getting pressured by friends, family or work colleagues to “have another drink” or “have just one more mince tart”, just say thanks but no thanks!
2. Eat before you go out
Cocktail party food is generally unhealthy and unsatisfying, so eat something before you go – a salad, light meal, or even a protein shake. You won’t arrive starving and tempted to eat every nibbly in sight!
Before you leave home, decide how many (if any) canapés you plan to eat. Then stick to that limit. You won’t feel deprived and you won’t have to face any guilt from unexpected excess calories the next day.
3. Hydrate properly
Make your first drink, and at least every second one thereafter, a sparkling mineral water or something else non-alcoholic. Sip it. It’ll help keep you hydrated and off the alcohol-lined slippery slope that tends to start when you down that first drink too quickly.
If you are with a friend or partner let them know that when you ask for a Sparkling Special (or whatever code name you come up with) you are after a non-alcoholic drink. So a Sparkling Special might be a vodka, lime and soda without the vodka but that’s your little secret!
PS. This Sparkling Special trick is also a handy one if you are pregnant and not public about it!
4. Plan what you’ll order
Decide what you’re going to eat as early as possible so you aren’t put on the spot and fall back on a less healthy option.
For sit-down functions with several courses, if you can, have a look at the menu before you arrive or at least before you sit down.
With entrees and mains, ensure that your plate is made up of 25% protein, 25% low GI and/or wholegrain carbs and the remaining 50% should be salads (mind the dressing) or vegetables.
Remember, you don’t have to eat everything on your plate. Have enough to taste the dish but be aware at these kind of events there is often more food coming!
5. Stay active!
It may be one of the most hectic periods in the year but whatever you do don’t let exercise fall by the way side. Schedule a training session on the day of the function and don’t skip exercise the next day, even if it’s just a walk or toning session.
Over the holiday period when your caloric intake increases you will really notice how exercise can help keep your weight under control.
So devise some going out game plans, stick to them and you never know, in a few weeks you could leave party land in even better shape than when you entered it!