10 Ways to watch your weight this festive season

By admin
04 December 2013

Curb your Christmas carb cravings and cut down on the mouthwatering but unhealthy festive intake.

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Often the harder we try to lose weight or maintain a healthier lifestyle during the festive season, the more the perfect picture fades away. Overindulging in delicious food and snack moments happen far too often, leaving the strict diet goals we’ve set ourselves outside the door. Naazneen Khan, wellness manager at Nestlé South Africa, shares her top 10 tips on how to balance food and wellness.

1. The very important shopping list

Believe it or not but by shopping wisely you can actually prevent yourself from overeating. The biggest no-no when it comes to going shopping is going on an empty stomach because you’ll end up buying unhealthy festive snacks. When you draw up your shopping list make sure the delicious items you have in mind are also healthy – for example don’t stuff your cupboards with chocolates, but rather go for fruit bars.

2. Don’t starve yourself

Skipping meals and starving yourself is probably the worst thing you can do when following a healthy diet. Doing so will only make you eat larger and fewer meals which will slow down your metabolism. When your metabolism levels decrease, you’ll have the problem of weight gain. Therefore rather eat smaller meals more frequently which will give your body the energy to perform. Grab something for the road before attending a function so you don’t feel hungry.

3. Snacking here and there

Canapés are great to snack on just because of their portion sizes, however try not to taste every sample when at a function. Festive gatherings are about socialising with friends and family and not about stuffing yourself with food. If you have a “bring-and-share” party, make it your priority to bring the healthier meals and snacks such as a fruit platter or a salad.

4. Slowly on the tipple

When you’re enjoying alcoholic drinks at an event always make sure you’ve had a balanced meal before arrival and to drink water in between glasses. Not only will it help you to not get tipsy quickly but your calorie intake will be less.

5. Start the evening on a healthy note

Always try to avoid or limit processed or fried foods such as sausages, ham and polonies. A healthier option, especially for a starter, would be vegetables, nuts or fruit.

6. It’s all about the size

Use a smaller plate when dishing food – this will help you plate smaller food portions. A great way to organise your plate is to dish half vegetables or salads, one quarter starch and the other quarter protein.  Also eat slowly so your body can recognise when you’re full.

7. Dance the night away

Dancing is great exercise to burn excess calories after a heavy meal, therefore when visiting family add this fun element to the occasion. It makes for a lot of entertainment and lots of merriment.

8. Hydrate

On arrival at a function rather avoid sugary drinks and ask for a glass of water. A good suggestion is to keep your bottle or glass of water in your dominant hand so you don’t feel tempted to reach for the finger food.

9. Avoid those pastries

Avoid or enjoy only in small amounts pastries, especially cookies, cakes and pies. Creamy sauces, cheese and dishes with cream should also be enjoyed in moderate portions.

10. Weighing the options

Depriving your body of what you like also isn’t good. Rather enjoy a smaller bit of dessert and a bowl of fruit salad. Certain ingredients can also be replaced by something healthier – for example when preparing a dessert which contains cream an alternative to use instead would be low-fat milk.

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