Tips to stay healthy over the holidays and at Christmas
It seems holiday and Christmas parties, catch ups, drinks and dinner are starting earlier and earlier each year. Is it just me, or are meals replaced with client lunches, drinks after work with the girlfriends, yearly dinner parties? Oh, and don’t forget work Christmas parties too!
It doesn’t take long, and your hard work over the past couple of months can quickly unravel. Catch up dinners replace gym sessions, PT sessions get put off (yes I’m guilty of that too!), and home made salads at work get forgotten, and replaced with client lunches and farewell nibbles.
For every workout you miss, and planned “healthy meal” you should be eating gets replaced with a meal out – your hardwork just goes down the drain.
Follow these eight tips to ensure you stay on track this silly season:
1. Make simple swaps when ordering meals and drinks: This one is easy. If the meal comes with fries, ask for a salad instead. Ditch the wine/champers and choose vodka, soda water. Swap desert for a healthy appetiser. If you get to choose the venue, pick somewhere that has simple protein choices like steak, fish or chicken, or a simple chicken salad or fresh summer salads. Ask for dressings and sauces on the side of your meal so you can choose the amount, or exclude all together.
2. Got a dinner/BBQ to go to – ask to bring a cheese plate /fruit platter: Here’s where you can be sneaky. You can create a cute Christmas shaped fruit platter out of fresh berries and grapes or your cheese platter can have one wheel or two of cheese, and add nuts, dried fruit, homemade (healthy) dip, carrot and celery sticks and fruit. If you’re at an event where there are nibbles and canapes involved, try and avoid rice crackers/water crackers at ALL costs.
Did you know a serve of a single row of rice crackers/10 water crackers can equal the same amount of carbohydrates as a slice of white sandwich bread?
3. Reschedule your workouts, and stick to the schedule: Setting your alarm an hour earlier than you usually wake can ensure you get your morning workout, run or walk done before the day has even started. That way you have no excuses when you’re busy in the evening.
4. Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is one of the easiest things you can do to stay healthy over the holidays. Aim for 2L at a minimum and it’ll help you stay hydrated and keep your body functioning 100%.
5. Avoid bread (fillers): Ditch the bread & butter at a formal dinner or even at a BBQ, opt for a steak and salad or a hamburger patty and salads rather than a sausage in bread.
6. Don’t give yourself the guilts / deny yourself something you’re really craving: Enjoy it, savour it and eat slowly. My favourite? My mum’s home made plum pudding!
7. Move daily: Go for a walk, a bike ride, or even a swim. Find some incidental ways to get movement and fun into your day while your on holidays. Got the kids? Take them to the park and do a mini workout yourself while your there!
8. Don’t skip meals: Just because you’re going out for a nice meal, don’t feel you should skip lunch or breakfast because you know you may eat more calories. Stick to portion sizes and opt for homemade meals where you can!
What are your tips for the holiday season?