It’s the holiday season and lets face it, it can turn into a bit of a silly season as well! Late nights, parties, and often very little or no exercise. Todays blog is all about healthy eating over the holidays. We are able to have treats but follow these tips to ensure that they are eaten occasionally and not too frequently.
Tip 1 – Indulging vs overindulging
Aim to not eat until you are too full to move or cannot possibly fit another bite in – this is overindulging. Rather savour a small amount or few bites of a favourite food than eat until you are too full to move.
Try out the 20/20 rule, which means you should ideally take 20 minutes to complete a meal and chew each mouthful at least 20 times before swallowing.
If attending end of year functions have a small healthy snack beforehand to ensure that you do not over eat.
Be selective about what you choose to eat and balance some healthy food with your treat and then move away to eat it.
Socialise away from buffet tables as this can lead to excess snacking without even realising it.
The day after indulging in a treat don’t skip breakfast as a “punishment”, rather stick to a healthy breakfast with a protein such as low GI toast with an egg to keep you feeling fuller for longer and less likely to indulge again.
Tip 2 – Go back to basics with portion control
Remember to still stick to one fistful of starch, a palm sized amount of protein, and half a plate of non-starchy vegetables at lunch and dinner.
Cut cake or quiche into 12 pieces instead of 8 and just stick to one piece.
Freezing leftovers can help to avoid finishing everything in the fridge all in one go.
Tip 3 – Veg it up
Luckily our holidays fall over the summer time and this is a great time to increase your intake of vegetables in the form of salads. There are so many different varieties of salad you can have.
Try to limit starchy vegetables in salads, or if having starchy vegetables in salads do not include a side of starch in your meal as well.
Starchy vegetables include potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut, corn, peas, beetroot and carrots.
Tip 4 – Hydration is key
Try to make water your main drink, you can add flavour by infusing with mint, lemon, or fruit such as strawberries and serve chilled.
With all the year-end functions and parties people tend to overdo it on alcoholic drinks. Rather start your night off with a non-alcoholic beverage to quench your thirst and alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones throughout the night.
Remember to have alcohol in moderation – this means 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.
Tip 5 – Get Active
We all love being around our family and friends over the holidays but why not do something active with the whole gang? Take a walk or cycle along the beachfront, have a refreshing swim, or take a hike and enjoy the scenery.
Stay tuned for a light, refreshing and filling salad option..
Article written by Simone Petersen RD (SA)