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I had my first ‘Christmas Function’ to attend last week – which must mean that the ‘Silly Season’ is about to hit.

I do love this time of year as it starts to get warmer (??!) the sun is out more and people’s spirits in general seem lifted. However, it can also be a stressful time as end of year deadlines are due, Christmas shopping needs to be completed, events attended and children’s entertainment sorted. Hopefully somewhere in there you also have the anticipation of a holiday and some well-earned rest and relaxation.

So how do you get through without falling off the wagon completely?

Firstly, don’t accept that it’s the holidays and therefore it’s ‘ok’ to put on a few kilos. Yes weight is not static and tends to fluctuate but don’t write off your normal healthy eating and exercise program ‘just because’. The aim is still to enjoy a few treats – just not to excess, which should mean you don’t see too much variation in the way that your jeans fit!

Choose your drinks wisely

Always alternate between an alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink. This will ensure you remain hydrated, are not drinking to excess and not consuming too many calories. It is also important to think about the type of drink you are regularly choosing. Cocktails every evening, whilst lovely, is likely to spike your calorie intake significantly. As are drinks that use sweet mixers such as juices and soft drinks. Spirits mixed with diet mixers are a lower energy choice, and many companies are now coming out with wines and beer that are lower in alcohol and/or carb as well.

Keep well hydrated

Not only important for when you are drinking alcohol – but important generally as well, especially with the warmer weather coming. Try drinking 1-2 cups of water before every meal. This will help to create a sense of fullness, so you are less likely to over indulge when it is time to eat. We also mis-interpret signs of hunger for thirst. So next time your stomach growls, reach for a glass of water instead of a snack!

Add nutrition wherever you can!

Make sure that every other meal, or snack is of high nutritional quality. Start the day with a solid breakfast with a good mix of protein, carbs and fats. Choose vege sticks, nuts or fruits as a snack and add more vegetables wherever you can. As long as you are eating well most of the time – the odd excursion from this plan will not have a massive impact on your goals.

Buffet eating…

This can be a situation where it is very easy to consume more than you would normally. Try and do a ‘lap’ of the offerings and decide what you would most like to try. Remember you don’t have to have everything. Stick to one plate of food – if you don’t normally eat more than one helping at dinner, why should this be any different? Try to ensure what you are choosing is mostly vegetable based with a side of lean protein and be careful with added condiments – try to stick to olive oil based vinaigrettes rather than sugary salad dressings.

Keep active!

Even if you are away, or busy at work, take a few minutes to keep active. Walk up the stairs at work, instead of emailing a colleague, go and find them. Meet a friend for a walk instead of a coffee catch up, take the kids to the park, go for a walk around the block after dinner, have a swim at the beach/ local pool. You don’t have to keep your exact exercise routine, you just need to keep moving!

Enjoy yourselves and make sure you get some time to relax!

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