As the summer holidays approach, we’re all looking forward to kicking back, relaxing with family and friends, enjoying long days by the beach, bbqs and backyard cricket – among many other things. However, it can be stressful trying to maintain healthy habits with so much temptation around and routines disrupted. So here are our top tips to help you get through.
Eat Breakfast. Commit to eating a healthy and filling breakfast every day. This will start your day on the right path and hopefully reduce the urge for that morning tea sweet treat.
Graze. Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day. It helps you keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady. You’ll be less likely to feel moody or stressed, and you’ll be less likely to overeat at parties. Also, if you don’t arrive at a party with an empty stomach, alcohol won’t hit you as hard.
Work out. Exercise keeps your metabolism going, helps you digest and burn off calories, and can stabilize your mood.
Do a trade-off. For every alcoholic drink you have during the holidays, tell yourself you need to be physically active for 30 minutes to burn it off. It might make you stop and consider how many drinks you want to consume, when put into this perspective.
Stay hydrated. Choose water or low-calorie drinks . According to experts, 500mls of water 20 minutes before each meal keeps you hydrated while reducing cravings and calories when you eat.
Ditch the comfy pants. This might seem a bit odd, but loose-fitting clothes make it easier to overeat. Wear form-fitting garments that will let you know you’re overdoing it.
Simply sip. Make that drink last all night by taking tiny sips. You’ll cut down on calories, and also keep a clear head all night.
Veg out. Hit the crunchy vegetables. Hard. They’ll fill you up, making you less likely to overeat.
Go lean. Choose lean proteins: turkey (without the skin), fish (skip the fatty sauce), and pork. They can fill you up and give you lots of energy.
Embrace the season. Enjoy the festive holiday fare you can’t get any other time of year, like stuffing and pavlova. Have those special foods in small amounts, but avoid things you can get all year, like mashed potatoes.
Think small. Always use a small plate if there’s a choice. That helps you keep portions modest.
Have one bite. Eat all the desserts you want — but just a bite of each. That way you won’t feel shortchanged — but you’re also not going overboard.
Take stock. When holiday food cravings hit, stop and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Just a few seconds might reveal that you’re really just tired or feeling something else that’s not hunger. A little talk with yourself can spare you some unwanted calories.
Get your Zzzzs. Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on sleep. Sleep loss can make it harder to manage your blood sugar, and when you’re sleep deprived you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food. Aim for 7 to 8 hours per night to guard against mindless eating.
Breathe and have fun. Remember that the holidays are about spending time with relatives and friends. Take a deep breath, smile, and connect.
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