5 Tips to stay healthy this holiday season
By Accredited Practising Dietitian Georgia Houston, GH Nutrition.
Keeping up your healthy routine during the holiday season can be tricky. However, with a little planning, you can navigate your way through the flood of Christmas party invites with these 5 easy tips by Accredited Practising Dietitian Georgia Houston from GH Nutrition.
1. Balanced plate
Sticking to a balanced plate ratio is my number one tip for people trying to navigate the holiday season whilst remaining healthy. Whether it be Christmas breakfast, lunch or dinner, try to fill half your plate with vegetables (think beautiful fresh Christmas salads), one-quarter of your plate protein (i.e. seafood/turkey/ham) and the remaining quarter carbohydrates (preferably wholegrains, i.e. mixed grain salad/roasted sweet potatoes).
2. Pre-game wisely
It might be tempting to “save up” your calories for an extra cocktail or dessert that night, but if arriving at a party ravenous, you are more likely to eat more than you intended. Combine hunger with a few cocktails, a couple of appetisers here and there, a full plate of dinner, plus seconds and dessert; the Christmas kilos will quickly add up. Eating a nutritious breakfast and lunch and having a high protein snack like Greek yoghurt beforehand means that you will feel satisfied and in control when you arrive, leading to healthier food choices.
3. Be kind to your future self
Building on the above, Christmas isn’t a time to stop meal planning or having healthy snacks on hand. Leading into the festive season, make sure your present self is kind to your future self and is prepared with some healthy freezer meals and snacks. This takes away any excuses for when you’re tired, stressed or too busy to think about food, and you can whip up a healthy meal or snack in no time!
4. Drink in moderation
It’s true; you can enjoy a few drinks this festive season without undoing all your hard work throughout the year. However, you need to think ahead as alcohol isn’t your best friend when it comes to weight. Not only is alcohol high in calories, but the body can’t store it. This means that the body prioritises metabolising alcohol while storing all other macro-nutrients (i.e. fat and carbohydrates). If you are having a few drinks, opt for something light like a spritzer made with wine and soda water or a vodka soda. Always hydrate between drinks, and you’ll avoid the dreaded hangover the next day.
5. Catch up over exercise
This time of the year involves a lot of catching up with loved ones and socialising with colleagues. Think outside the box and instead of catching up for a glass of wine or dinner, go for a walk or do a HIIT class together instead. Christmas morning is also a great opportunity to introduce some movement before Christmas lunch. A family walk, game of beach cricket or testing out the new push bikes are all great ideas.
Most importantly, Christmas is a time for family and friends, so instead of focusing on eating and drinking or your weight, focus on those around you. It’s been a tough year Canberra, so enjoy hugging loved ones again.