I believe we can absolutely still ENJOY the holiday period, be social, drink mulled wine, eat delicious food– and come out of this time FEELING GOOD and without gaining weight and feeling bloated. We need to change our mindsets a little around this time. Lots of people jump into December with the mentality of “I am just going to go all out” because the diet starts on January 1st. Instead, we should let go of this diet mentality and eat consistently well all year – and that can include indulgence. We want to aim to get through the holiday season feeling energised, refreshed and ready for the year ahead, not start the year overweight, sluggish, zero energy and dull January skin!!! So… here are my ways to keep you on track this December without being too much of an office Christmas party pooper.
1. Never arrive at events/parties starving: People tend to starve themselves all day before a party or event. This is not a good idea – it usually backfires. When you arrive hungry, you will find it harder to make smart choices and control your portion sizes. Enjoy a protein rich snack before the party such as raw nuts, a cup of greek yoghurt with cinnamon, crudites with hummus or some protein balls.
2. Always eat a balanced plate of food + Practice portion control: Eat enough of the right foods at every meal during the holiday fun to feel full and satiated. By doing this, you won’t feel the need to overdo t it on the sweet treats going around. And – Always get in your veggies. Your plate should contain: ¼ should be healthy carbs (such as sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice) ¼ should be a healthy protein (such as organic chicken, turkey, grass-fed meat or tofu/tempeh/pulses for vegans) ½ your plate should be veggies (such as rocket, spinach, broccoli and asparagus) a portion of healthy fats (such as ¼ avocado, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp walnuts or 1 tbsp sesame seeds
3. Drink alcohol moderately and pace yourself: Give yourself permission to drink but think smart choices + moderation. Stop at 1-3 drinks at a party/event and enjoy the best choices. Avoid added fruit juice, mixers, and cocktails. Vodka, tequila and gin are cleaner options and mix them with soda, fresh lime, cucumber, or coconut water. Add fresh fruits and mint for the festive feel. Go for red wine over white wine if possible. For best results, stop after two drinks. Drink slowly.
4. Stay active: Aim to get 20 to 30 minutes of movement each day. Remember to be kind and flexible with your body.
5. Experiment with intermittent fasting: It’s a great way to rest your digestive system. Try just having liquids until 11/12 o’clock.
6. No snacking: Give your digestion time to work and rest between meals. Try and stick to your 2 - 3 meals a day.
7. Sip on herbal teas throughout the day. Great for de-bloating and hydration!