With the season upon us, so too comes a plethora of buffets and seasonal menus to tantalize one’s tastebuds just as quickly as the resolve to stick to that “let’s make it till Christmas” diet plan wane with each passing day. Yes, tis the time to be festive, but we are here to show you that navigating a sea of calorie laden meal choices needn’t necessarily suck the fun out of what is essentially the spirit of the season!
- SKIP THE CARBS – SAY YES TO KEBABS
As tempting as it may be to pile on just one more serving of your favourite aunt’s mashed potatoes and gravy, be selective with your carbs and load up on healthy proteins instead. Kebab’s serve a dual purpose of being deliciously seasoned and grilled to perfection which cuts down on the amount of fat being used to prepare them and pair well with healthier veggies such as roasted carrots, beans and the like.
- SLOW AND STEADY SAVES YOUR WAIST
Small bites and slower eating gives your brain the 20 minutes it needs to realize you’re satisfied – making you feel fuller and less inclined to get caught up in the holiday gossip and go back for seconds. So, lift up that fork and prepare to make a lot of small talk in between bites – today’s sacrifice is tomorrow’s reward!
- WINE IN FAVOUR OF BEERS BRINGS NEW MEANING TO CHEER
Loaded with polyphenols (found in red wine) it’s no wonder doctors recommend a glass of wine a day believed to rejuvenate the body and reduce our risk of heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure. Not to mention how the pros a glass of wine carries in comparison to a gut expanding pint of beer. And that goes for other seasonal drinks as well; delicious alcoholic concoctions mixed with cream, whole milk and chocolate that add to the dreaded scale. That being said, limits need to be exercised even with wine as a glass or two can go down the same route as its brewed beery cousin. Mix with spritzer to stretch your self-imposed quota and always leave anything heavier till after dinner; an alcohol impaired individual with a full belly is less likely to overeat or overdrink after all!
- SAVE THE CHEAT FOR THE TREATS
So we all slip up – we are only human after all! But look at the holiday season as a time of reward for all the days you have stuck stringently to your diet! After all, denying yourself things that you would enjoy during the holiday season sets you up for dietery failure. So adopt the either / or attitude; where you will treat yourself accordingly balancing your healthy food choices with the occasional cheat treat. This can also be achieved by skipping or lightening up a meal if you seem to have gone overboard on either of two occasions. It’s all about awareness and getting back on track.
- NO TIME TO HIBERNATE – PICK UP THOSE HEELS AND QUICKEN YOUR GAIT
Don’t let your stomach get the better of your work out plans! Keep up an active lifestyle during the holidays. While its understandable most of us may find that due to the sheer load of shopping and visiting it’s quite tempting to skip our regular gym workouts, there’s nothing that says you can’t incorporate a little cheat here and there when it comes to running those seasonal errands. Whether its skipping the tuk-tuks and combining a brisk walk with public transport, or casually using those gift or grocery laden shopping bags for a quick round of bicep curls, there’s always a sneaky way to stay active while still enjoying the festive season!
- POTLUCKS THAT DON’T SUCK
Nominated to bring a dish for the annual Christmas get-together? Why not try a healthy spin on traditional favourites that no one would be the wiser for? Whether it’s subbing in sweet potatoes and low fat cream for mash or skipping the whole turkey in favour of healthier pieces marinated to perfection or even swapping out that cheese wheel from that trip abroad for lighter and healthier parmesan, the Internet is filled with healthy alternative recipes that taste just as great or maybe even better.
Of course, if none of the above work in your favour and you find yourself letting the foodie within get the better of you, fear not – for New Year cometh soon and so too do those ever popular resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle; if not this year, then certainly the next!
By Raiza Saldin