Another year is almost over, bringing with it all the celebrations and holidays of the festive season. There’s temptations to eat out more, drink more alcohol and skip your regular exercise routine. Don’t let your hard fought health victories be undermined by bad food and lifestyle choices this festive season.
Our patients often tell us that the festive season and holiday breaks are the most challenging periods in which to stay on track in relation to diet and healthy lifestyle habits. To help you navigate these challenges we’ve elaborated on a number of these hurdles and have suggested ways of dealing with them. As they say – forewarned is forearmed!
Eating Out (Functions and Restaurants)
- Make sure you’re not super hungry before you go out – munch on a plate of salad, mixed green vegetables or coleslaw with a few slices of sashimi or a piece of quality protein bar such as the Metagenic Keto Bar
- When choosing from a menu always build your meal around a lean protein such as fish, meat or chicken. Choose barbecued, steamed or grilled over fried or oven roasted
- Choose sides of salads, steamed greens or mixed vegetables instead of chips
- Ask for sauces and dressings on the side
- Avoid alcohol if at all possible, but if this is too difficult allow yourself one drink & continue on with tap or bottled water with a twist of lime or lemon or bitters instead. If you opt for a glass of alcohol avoid fruity cocktails as they are very high in sugar
- Functions that begin with cocktails before moving on to table service. Politely decline the finger food and cocktails and settle for food served at the table (checking in advance there’ll be suitable food for you)
- If at a function where only finger food is on offer, avoid all fried offerings, preserved meats, cheese and savoury pastries. Opt for offerings like barbecued prawns or fish instead. Be mindful of the quantity you eat – it’s easy to lose count!
Special Occasions with Family or Friends in their homes
- Offer to make something that you’re good at and you know is suitable – baked fish and or salad or vegetables are excellent options. This way you’re not imposing on your host and get to eat what’s best for you. Your friends and family will love the healthy, colourful and attractive food you bring to share
- Watch your portions and fill up on low carbohydrate vegetables
- Drink lots of water or mineral water with a twist of lemon or bitters
- Socialising is important and food shouldn’t be an excuse to withdraw – practice the art of self discipline and keep your friends and family close – even if their lifestyle choices doesn’t mirror yours
Special Occasions with Family or Friends in your home
When you’re hosting, you’re in charge!
- Offer your guests what you’d eat – light, attractive and inspirational food. Even though we don’t eat meat ourselves, we’re happy to serve meat to our friends – offering them thoughtfully prepared, healthy versions of their favourite dishes (usually to great acclaim!)
- Make lots of lovely salads and platters of vegetables – herbs and spices can add so much taste and depth these type of dishes. Dressings should be very light – use olive oil sparingly and leave extra salad and vegetable dressings on the side for guests to serve themselves
- Be organised – decide in advance the dishes you’ll prepare and choose some that can be made ahead of time to reduce stress on the day
- Watch your portions and make sure that you fill up on low carbohydrate vegetables
Holidays and Trips
When life is a little more relaxed it’s easy to lose track of meals, portion sizes and exercise. Be mindful of this but learn to be flexible in fluid situations by:
- Substituting a long walk or a walk jog if you are unable to get to the gym – walking after meals is such a good way of helping you digest food and burning off a few extra calories (just remember that what you put in your mouth is way more important than how much exercise you do)
- long leisurely buffet breakfasts are a tempting way to start the day – keep it very light & low carbohydrate – it sets you up for a great day
- If you over-indulge at one meal – just pare back on the rest of the day’s intake
- Do not beat up on yourself if you haven’t rigidly stuck to your healthy choices – it’s not an all or nothing proposition. Remember – you can always press ‘reset’ and get back on track
Let’s Make a Plan
Our team has helped hundreds of clients master healthy food and lifestyle choices and internalise these habits. Don’t ditch your hard won weight and lifestyle victories during the festive and holiday season – a little planning and forethought can make all the difference. Let’s make a plan!
For an appointment ring 03 9826 4300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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This blog is general in nature only and should not be relied upon as medical advice. For further information please contact our clinic or your own medical practitioner before commencing any diet or exercise regimen.