Written by Kale and Co Nutritionist, Julie Meek. Have you noticed that the festive season seems to be a 3-month endurance event requiring you to possess the attributes of a finely tuned athlete? Discipline, tests of endurance and high-powered organisation skills are handy to have when juggling a full workload and extra demands on time with a constant stream of events and parties. The thing is, it is truly impossible to manage your energy and health resources if you don’t look after what you are eating. Fun and games abound in December and continue into January and it can be a tough gig when you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There is no doubt that we all need to unwind at the end of the year but parties and events are often all about the food (usually high in fat, sugar and salt) and the alcohol. There is no such thing as one single party is there? In Australia the average weight gain over the Christmas holiday period is 2-3kg, so now is not the time to be part of the crowd. Top tips to keep on track: - This is the time of year when you need to think of your body like a bank account. It’s vital that your debits (food and alcohol intake) don't exceed the credits (exercise and activity). Before you kick up your heels, think about moving the rest of your body and burning up some extra calories. - If you are attending a party and need to bring a plate to share, prepare something healthy and delicious. Others will appreciate it too and there will be at least one thing you will feel happy to eat. - Don't go to a party hungry, you are more likely to overeat on whatever is available and be less careful about what you choose. Try eating regularly but lightly on the days that you have an event. Having some soup or a sandwich before stepping out will stop you feeling ravenous and hoovering up all the deep fried snacks. - Plan your alcohol intake. Don't forget that alcohol stimulates the appetite and sends good resolutions sailing out of the window. Have breaks in between alcoholic drinks with lime and soda, diet soft drink or water. People generally won’t pester you to have another drink if you have a fairly full one in your hand. Drink plenty of water too. - Pre-dinner bread and tasting plates are best refused due to their moorish qualities. Items on tasting plates can often be high in fat and not very filling, which means that you can end up eating a lot of them. Bread will fill you up before your main meal arrives and usually means the addition of butter or oil, which bumps up the calories substantially. Stay away from garlic bread – it’s a little butter sponge. - Ask for and choose salads and vegetables without dressing, sauces, margarine and butter. Serve sauces or gravies separately and then you can control how much is on your plate. - Always share dessert. Quite often when it comes to dessert, hunger is not the driving factor, it’s just the desire to taste something that looks and tastes delicious. Sharing is caring and ticks all the boxes. Wishing you a happy and healthy start to the year, we’re ready for you 2016! If you our help we have 5 day cleanse or nourish superfood meal plans available, head to www.kaleandco.com.au/shop to begin your wellness journey. We’ll be one them too!
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