Summer is well and truly here with the festive season in full swing. Many of us completely ‘let go’ over the festive season as we overindulge on delicious food and alcohol.
Our healthy lifestyle and fitness goals go straight out the window as soon as December hits and it’s not uncommon for people to just accept that weight gain is inevitable. After New Year’s, we then strive to get back on the bandwagon come January.
I challenge you to change your attitude this year and implement my Top 5 tips for SURVIVING this festive season to prevent the silly season bulge.
1. Aim for balance
The holiday period provides plentiful opportunities to overeat and over-drink as special occasions are often centered around food. It’s not a reason to eat as much as you can (despite our competitiveness) or ‘get your money’s worth’ from parties and gatherings. We tend to have this ‘All or Nothing’ mentality, and we forget that you don’t actually need to eat and drink to extremes. For once it’s not a competition. Find a comfortable middle ground where you can still go out and have a great time but minimise the damage by going overboard.
Make healthy choices when you can. The Festive Season Survival Guide gives you specific strategies to implement before you go out and while you’re out so you can enjoy yourself, it is Christmas after all. While aiming for some sort of balance, whatever that looks like for you!
2. Have a plan
Be smart and think ahead. Having a plan will help you stay in control of your food and drink choices rather than tapping out for the festive season.
We’ve put together a Party Planner Checklist to help you tick off a few big items in preparation for a night out.
3. Outsmart the obsessive “feeder”
Don’t worry, we all know at least one of these. Typically it’s our Mum, but hands up who has a “feeder” friend who is always trying to shove food or alcohol down their throats even when they don’t really want it? They guilt you into ordering dessert so they don’t feel left out, they order you another drink even though you said you’d sit this one out.
The problems are real. Here are some great lines to get the feeder to back off:
“I’ve had some thanks; it was delicious”
“I’m actually parched; could I please have a glass of water?”
“I physically couldn’t fit another one in”
If politely refusing the food doesn’t work because they’re so bloody insistent, our Festive Season Survival Guide has some great tips to help you manage these people.
4. Stay Active
The holiday season provides plenty of opportunity to stay active. Aim to move every day, even if it’s just a 30-minute walk or jog. Strike up a game of backyard cricket, take the dog for a walk after dinner or go for a swim to avoid the heat.
Holidays also mean there’s more time for those long adventure rides. Get a group together and make a day of it!
Social occasions don’t always need to be centered around food and alcohol. We’ve got a bunch of non-food and alcohol related activity ideas for you in the Festive Season Survival Guide
5. Avoid overdoing it with alcohol
Ahhhh alcohol, we have a love/hate relationship. It’s packed with unwanted kilojoules, impairs muscle recovery, causes hangovers and dehydration and at the end of the day, is a toxin our body works hard to get rid of.
It also loosens our inhibitions (duh) which increases the likelihood of eating things you probably wouldn’t normally…3am dirty kebab anyone?
If you’re going to drink, drink. Enjoy it. Just choose wisely.
If you need a hand managing alcohol consumption over the silly season, check out our great tips in the Festive Season Survival Guide. We’re not the fun police – just trying to educate 😊 You can thank us for it later…
Take Home Message
Don’t let the festive season call the shots. Make healthy decisions when you can, and rather than switching off, remain in control of your choices. Listen to your body and stop eating when you’re full.
Enjoy the time spent with friends and family without feeling guilty about the choices you’ve made.
We encourage you to find a balance between enjoyment and being too hard on yourself that you miss out on the fun all together.
Be kind to your body, it’s the only one you’ve got!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
And the team at Dietitian Approved
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