Christmas and New Years are right around the corner. Of course, this calls for a time of celebration as the kids are going to be out of school and you are going to be surrounded by your closest friends and family.
The best things about this time of the year are the festive drinks and the yummy food. However, if you are on a diet or if you aren’t already eating healthy these treats aren’t going to do your waistline any favors.
Recent studies show that most South African adults are already consuming too many alcoholic beverages, chocolate, sugar-sweetened drinks, cakes, biscuits, processed meats, and savory snacks on a weekly basis.
Studies also show that of the 35 servings of vegetables that adults are recommended to eat each week South African men are getting 25 and South African women are getting around 29. *One serving counts for a half a cup of vegetables or one cup of salad.
So, how can you make sure you are eating healthier this holiday season?
01. Know Your Drink Limits
Even if you are already eating healthy it never hurts to have a plan ahead of time to help limit dietary excess. You don’t want to destroy what you have already worked so hard for. The first thing you need to do is be extremely careful around the alcoholic beverages. You would be surprised to learn how many calories those mixed drinks pack.
Even straight alcohol won’t do your waistline any favors. This is why you need to set a limit before the drinking starts and make sure that you stick to it.
Another good strategy is to alternate alcohol with water, soda water, or diet soft drinks. This tactic will help keep your calorie and sugar intake at a minimum.
02. Consider Snacking Before The Party
There are always a lot of social functions involved with the holiday seasons. You’ll likely be attending work holiday parties and social holiday parties. There will be no shortage of sugar-filled snacks and treats at the functions and showing up on an empty stomach could be a major mistake. The temptation will be hard enough already to resist, but an empty stomach will only contribute to the difficulty of the situation.
Your very best option is to consume a healthy meal before you arrive. Eat a salad or opt for some vegetable inspired platter. Even lean protein like meat, chicken, or fish is an acceptable solution. These types of proteins along with dietary proteins will help your stomach feel fuller for longer periods of time.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to be a stickler and not eat at the party. Just make sure that you are opting for the healthier options on the table. Look for the lean protein-based foods like meatballs, prawns, lean meat, skewers, cold rolls, sushi, or even frittata. You must absolutely stay away from fried and pastry based foods.
03. Devise A Platter Strategy
When those finger foods on the table or being passed around and you get in the chatting mood it really can be hard to keep track of what you have already consumed. You’ll likely be talking to someone who is snacking on something and this will give you the urge to partake as well. If you find yourself grazing the platters looking for finger foods, you will be best to stick with the vegetable trays.
Stay away from the crackers and cheese dips and opt for the vegetable sticks with the hummus. If you do have to have cheese make sure that you go for quality over quantity because cheese is extremely high in calories.
04. Don’t Overdo The Courses
It is likely that you will probably find yourself in many restaurants over the holiday season as well. Some people like to throw restaurant-based events.
If this is the case, you will want to make sure that you aren’t overindulging. Too many courses are going to mean way too many calories. Stick with just two courses and never go over. You can opt for the entrée and a main dish, main dish with a side salad, or you can even get a main dish with a tasty dessert if you have a sweet tooth.
05. Lean Proteins And Vegetables Are A Must
Many people like to overindulge in high carbohydrate foods over the holiday seasons. Pizza and burgers are amongst some of the most popular options.
You’d be doing yourself a lot more justice if you stick with lean protein foods, salads, or vegetables. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a burger or a slice of pizza just make sure that you are limiting yourself. Maybe two slices of pizza with limited toppings or half a burger would be just fine.
That being said, you will without a doubt want to steer clear of anything deep fried like chips, wedges, battered or crumbed fish, calamari, or schnitzels. These foods are just way too high in calories and fat. There is simply no way to justify eating them.
06. Go For Raw And Steamed Side Dishes
When you choose your side dishes, you need to make sure that you are being extremely careful. Yes, these dishes are usually small, but making the wrong choices will really raise your calories intake.
Your very best option is to go for steamed vegetables or salads and steer clear of fried chips, wedges, or those ever fattening mashed potatoes. Along with this, vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fibers that your body needs.
Studies show that people who consume the recommended vegetable intake each week have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. So, not only will consuming vegetables and salads help your calorie intake but also they will make you all around healthier.
07. Stay Away From Your Favorites
Everyone is different, but everyone also has a food holiday food or snack that they have a weakness too. For some people it is chocolate. For others, it might be something that is sweet and salty. Whatever the situation is, you probably want to avoid these foods at all costs. After you have had the first taste of it will be all that much harder to not go back for a second serving.
BONUS TIP: Control your appetite
If you've tried the tips mentioned above without success you might need help controlling your appetite. For that we have CheetaThin Appetite Suppressant. CheetaThin is locally formulated in South Africa as a 100% natural appetite suppressant that will give you back control of your diet.