The end of the year holiday season is a time of optimism, enjoyment and reflection. It’s a time spent with close family and friends, enjoying each other’s company over great, delicious food. However, the Christmas season is also a period of excessive eating and indulgence, which can seriously hurt the waistline. If you’re currently on a diet or concerned about weight gain over the Christmas period, then check out some of these practical dieting tips to save your waistline this December!
Rest well the night before and be active during the day
Another great way to improve your health over the holiday season is to make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before the big feed. Adequate sleep plays a vital role in enhancing your brain function, metabolism and your overall immune system. It’s also essential for maintaining strong mental health.
During the day, we recommend you try and be as active as possible. This doesn’t mean going for laps around the local oval; however, it does mean you should try and stay on your feet a bit more. If the host has a pool, try going for a swim (well after you’ve digested your food) or going for a quick walk. While it’s easy to plonk yourself on the couch and fall asleep, you’ll feel the worse for wear afterwards.
Ease off on the alcohol
While it’s tempting to drink as much eggnog as you can stomach, you’ll end up eating more and feeling rather terrible the next day. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t drink at all; on the contrary, a few drinks here and there won’t hurt. What we recommend, however, is spacing out your drinks throughout the day and evening. Alternate between alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages to ensure you stay hydrated!
Think before you eat
Your eyes are often a “lot bigger” than your stomach. Let’s face it; it can be tough to resist some of the fantastic food on offer during Christmas Day lunch and dinner. For example, a traditional Australian Christmas lunch features some classic festive treats and savoury delicacies, like ham, turkey and seafood (prawns especially). On the sweet side, trifle, pavlova and gingerbread remain insanely popular across Aussie households. While all these dishes sound incredible, you must pace yourself. Eat slowly, think before committing to another plate and consider lowering your portions so you can eat a more diverse range of the foods on offer (this way, you’re not missing out!).
Don’t forget the healthier options
Not all festive meals are unhealthy. If the host has set out a lovely platter with fresh fruit and vegetables, then make sure you indulge in the healthier options as often as the “less” healthy options. Fresh fruits and vegetables are stacked with excellent vitamins and minerals, making them highly nutritious.
In summation, while it is essential to try and be as health-conscious as possible over the holiday season, Christmas is only one day. Don’t let your dieting dampen your mood and preclude you from eating something you desperately want. If you want something (and are hungry for it), then go for it. Just remember – everything in moderation.