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Top tips to survive the festive season...part 2...Food

9 Dec 2011 5:43 PM - Enjoying Christmas without "blowing it"..
Share your food and reduce overeating

In part 1 of my guide to the festive season I gave you some tips to help manage your alcohol intake.  This time the focus turns to food.  The temptation is to just throw the healthy eating out the door until the end of January.  However, if you do that you will most likely be staring at February a few kilos heavier and feeling very sluggish, tired and unwell. 

So here are some common-sense eating tips to help you sail gracefully through Christmas and into the New Year in good shape. 

  1. Look at your diary and see what you have coming up.  If you plan, in advance, on which days you are likely to be indulging then you will have more motivation to make healthy food choices on the other days.  (Hint: if there are no “healthy” days in your diary, maybe consider saying “no” to a couple of non-essential outings).

  2. Small servings – think about how much you are about to take and then halve it!  You can always come back for seconds IF YOU ARE STILL HUNGRY LATER!

  3. Be realistic.  Don’t deprive yourself of indulgences entirely or you will feel miserable (even if only at a subconscious level) and more likely to “blow it”.

  4. Allow yourself a taste of whatever you really desire but make a conscious decision to really taste the food, savour the flavour and texture and enjoy EVERY mouthful.  If you are no longer enjoying it then stop eating.

  5. Don’t over-cater.  That way you’ll minimise the amount of food left over.  Good food is abundant and readily available in this country so there is no need to overstock the pantry and fridge for "emergencies". Again, this reduces temptation.

  6. Freeze leftovers or give people food plates to take with them.  You don’t need extra temptation left around after the fun has finished.  By the same token, politely refuse any leftovers a host offers to send you home with.

  7. Have something healthy and protein-rich before you go to a function.  This will make you more able to resist unnecessary temptation.

  8. Share your dishes.  Suggest splitting an entrée or dessert instead of eating the whole thing yourself.

  9. Have the plum pudding but do you really need the custard AND the ice-cream AND the cream to go with it.  i.e. don’t go overboard on the extra sauces and trimmings.  You’ll be surprised at how many calories you can save by just cutting down on the extras.

  10. Don’t forget to eat slowly.  Put your cutlery down between mouthfuls and actually take the time to enjoy EACH mouthful.  This will allow your stomach the time it needs to send a message to your brain to register that it is full and you are then less likely to overeat.

  11. Don’t confuse hunger with thirst, especially on warm days.  Make sure you drink water to stay hydrated.

  12. When possible go for salads and steamed vegetables, fresh fruit, lean meats, nuts and brown rice or pasta to boost your vitamins and minerals.  If you want extra support, a multivitamin with good levels of the B vitamins will be helpful.  If you are feeling a bit “sluggish”, try warm water with lemon juice when you wake up or the herb, St Mary’s Thistle. 

So, follow these tips and you will enjoy the festivities without paying the price.  And if that doesn't work, make an appointment with us for a New Year's detox and liver cleanse.

 

In good health,

 

Kaye Wright
Naturopath
Melbourne CBD


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