‘Tis the season of boozy office parties, end-of-year celebrations, lavish Christmas meals, and many a bottle of Champagne. Family, friends and the promise of presents, are all reason to be jolly, but over-indulgent in festive treats might leave you ringing in the new year with just a few more kilos than you’d like. With clever planning, and a few of our sneaky tricks, you can still enjoy the hoilday season, without gaining a dress size by January.
By Jana du Plessis
Don’t arrive at the party ravenous. Remember, the main course will only be served later in the evening, and diving head first into the canapes might lead you to overeat. Grab an apple on your way out to curb your hunger and make sure you’re discerning when it comes to the snack table offerings. Try to avoid the deep-fried bites, the dips or really saucy snacks – these have higher calorie counts without much nutritional value. Rather opt for veggie and protein options, like quiche, tomato bruschetta or biltong. Come dessert time, pick the item that looks most appealing to you, or go half-and-half with your buddy if you’re having trouble choosing between fruit cake or malva pudding!
To sip, or not to sip
When it comes to drinks – alcoholic or otherwise – some are better for you than others. Cocktails are undeniably delicious, but those seemingly harmless tropical drinks are laden with sugary syrups, colourants and flavourants. Anything made with sweet, carbonated sodas, comes in at a very close second. Order a Martini if you’re looking for a low-calorie boozy drink, or go for a gin and tonic with lemon slices and mint. If you’re a whiskey-drinker, scotch on the rocks is a healthy choice that will still leave you feeling festive.
Don’t wory, be merry
Don’t begin your festivities with anxiety or dread over what the holiday season will add to your waistline. We all deserve a little fun and indulgence, especially after a long year! Enjoy a bit of everything, but don’t eat until you’re absolutely stuffed, stay active throughout (even if it’s only the occasional walk on the beach), drink plenty of water and try to eat balanced meals with fruits and veggies, lean protein and wholegrains, to fuel you in between especially indulgent meals.
How are you staying healthy this festive season? Comment below!