We are now well and truly into the festive season. Christmas carols are playing in the supermarkets nonstop and Briscoes is having even more ‘One Day Only’ sales than normal. Just this week alone I have six different Christmas morning teas, lunches and dinners to attend, and that doesn’t include all of the Christmas baking and chocolates that seem to be on offer wherever I look. How on earth do you get through a whole month of festive eating and celebrating without packing on the pounds?

Promise yourself not to gain weight ‘just because’

There are not many people I know who happily work hard to remain a stable weight/lose weight throughout the year and then happily gain a couple of extra kilos just because it’s Christmas. However, often people subconsciously allow themselves to gain those couple of extra kilos around the festive season, just because they see it as being inevitable with so many temptations around. Allow yourself some Christmas treats but don’t get silly about it because of the time of year.

Choose your drinks carefully

Drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have. Get fancy with soda water and a spritz of lemon or lime and no one will have any idea you’re not sipping on alcohol. Try to avoid too many decadent cocktails that contain lots of juice, as this will just add sugar and empty calories to your intake without providing any satiety to fill you up.

Fill up before you go out

Don’t leave home hungry! If you do, you’re more than likely to eat more than you normally would on less than nutritious snacks. Have a small vege and protein based snack before you go out to avoid the temptation of overeating.

Choose good quality snacks

Avoid high fat and pastry encased nibbles when next at client or friends’ drinks. Instead try to choose healthier options that have good quality nutrients. Choosing snacks that are vege and protein packed will help fill you up without adding tonnes of non-nutritive calories.

It’s ok to say no

Don’t feel you have to try every crudité and mini slider on offer. Ask yourself ‘do I really want this?’ as food is offered and more often than not you will find the answer is ‘no’. Being mindful about our food choices is one of the most powerful tools we can utilise when trying to control what we eat.

Surviving the buffet situation

Take a tour of the buffet selection prior to loading up your plate. Decide what are your top choices. Go for things that you might not usually have at home, or are a bit special. Pasta salad and bread? These choices are pretty standard – go for the delicious smoked salmon instead with an interesting looking vege selection – you will get your money’s worth from choosing the pricier dishes (!) and be healthier for it by not filling up on less nutritious calories. Be careful about overloading your plate – it is definitely about quality of food, not quantity of food! Leave a little room to try some dessert – you know you will want some, so best not to pile it on top of an already full stomach!

Keep some kind of exercise routine

Don’t ditch the exercise completely. This is often a busy time of year and trying to keep up with your exercise is often the first thing to slip. If this sounds like you, schedule in a walk down the beach with friends instead of catching up at the wine bar. Keeping active, even in short stints is better than nothing at all.

Remember to take time these holidays to relax, enjoy some sun and time with family and friends as well as taking some time to look after yourself and I will see you back here in 2016!

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