The temptation for indulgence, which Christmas time undoubtedly brings about, does not complement our health and fitness goals, especially when talking weight.
However, just because the festive season is upon us doesn’t mean we are unable to enjoy all that Christmas has to offer and still achieve our goals, says Aussie nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin, below.
Zoe, who has just released her fabulous new self-published cookbook Falling in Love with Food, is adamant that the two can co-exist.
Here are her tips on how:
Aim to prioritise movement over the holidays. This doesn’t mean foregoing family catch-ups to hit the gym, it simply means scheduling in daily movement. This may be in the form of a long morning walk, sport in the backyard with friends or trying a new yoga/pilates class. Incidental exercise counts more than you think, so instead of lounging about after a big meal, help clean up, go for a stroll or follow the lead of the youngest family members by getting outdoors and playing!
It’s perfectly okay to overindulge once or twice over the festive season guilt-free. For most of the time, if you can practice eating until satisfied and not overly full, I can assure you will feel better for it. Don’t feel like you need to finish everything on your plate, learn to love leftovers and know food will not go to waste. Leftovers will instead take the pressure off planning tomorrows meals, what more could you ask for?
Keep a loose structure to your meals over the holidays such as aiming for ½ plate vegetables, ¼ protein, ¼ complex carbohydrates and ½ tbsp. fat at each meal. This will help you continue to eat in a balanced way, reduce excessive hunger and help you ease back into routine in the New Year.
It’s very easy to lose track of what has been eaten and also true hunger when mingling at events. Nibbles and canapés may only be bite sized but can be mindlessly filled up on pre meal. Select a few canapés which you really want and allow yourself to enjoy those. To avoid excessive hunger pre party eat a protein rich snack such as yoghurt with nuts/seeds, ricotta and seed crackers or a boiled egg.
Amongst all of the Christmas chaos we can forget to relax and actually enjoy ourselves. Stress wreaks havoc on blood sugar and appetite and can lead to emotional eating. To avoid falling into this trap, take care of yourself over Christmas by not sweating the small stuff, going with the flow and making sure to schedule in ample down time.