Top 5 tips for eating healthy over the festive season
2020 is coming to a close and there’s never been a better cause for celebration after the memorable year that has been. With most celebrations centering around food and drinks, they can often leave us feeling a little worse for wear come the new year. To help you stay on top of your health and feel tip top throughout the festive season and start the new year feeling fresh, our dietitian has 5 top tips to follow!
1. Eat with purpose
When you’re faced with a buffet of delicious foods, take the time to scope it all out first before piling up your plate. Choose the options you know you’re really excited for and love, and leave the options you aren’t that enthused about. Is Grandma’s potato bacon salad your favourite? Absolutely go for it and leave the pumpkin that you don’t love as much behind. By taking a moment to choose what you enjoy you are reducing excess energy intake coming from foods you’re not that passionate about and will probably find yourself feeling happier and more satisfied with smaller portions of your fave foods.
2. Don’t fast, detox or compensate
While it might be tempting, don’t fast, try a detox, or compensate for your events by starving yourself beforehand. Detoxing isn’t necessary as the body naturally does this anyway, and adopting a detox will usually do more harm than good. Instead, trust that your body can recover after a big event and get back into your normal habits naturally. Hydration, movement and normally healthy eating patterns after an event are all you need! Fasting and compensating for events by skipping meals is a one-way ticket to over-indulging. Turning up to Christmas functions starving because you haven’t eaten in preparation will most likely result in over-eating because it is much harder to listen to fullness and satiety cues when we are starving. Try to eat a nourishing healthy meal before you head to your Christmas events and functions so you aren’t starving and can make more rational food choices.
3. Prioritise vegetables
Once again when faced with the buffet of delicious Christmas food options, make sure you are still including vegetables on your plate. You’ll feel better providing your body with the nutrients it needs from all the colours, but also it helps to increase satiety so you can manage your portion sizes and energy intake better. The same goes for the meals in between all the festivities! Instead of throwing healthy eating completely out the window, still focus on plenty of colour with your main meals so you can stay healthy.
4. Plan your plate instead of grazing
At least a few catch ups with friends and family over the festive season inevitably involve grazing platters, cheese platters or buffet style meals where it becomes really easy to mindlessly graze on food. Before you know it you’ve likely eaten the equivalent of a whole days energy intake in a short space of time. If you are prone to mindlessly picking at foods, try to serve yourself food on a plate instead! It can be really helpful to visually see the volume of food you are consuming when you put it all onto a plate for slowing down and eating more mindfully.
5. Maintain your usual habits in between events
Although it’s a period of time filled with more get togethers than usual, there is still normal life in between. Remember that these days are a great opportunity to continue with your normal, healthy eating patterns. Create the time in between big events to fill up on vegetables, squeeze in some movement (The Studio is still open!), stay hydrated and choose healthy foods where possible so you continue to feel great. A little bit of pre-planning and thought goes a long way during the silly season. Write up a meal plan at the beginning of the week, factoring in all of your parties and events, and fill in the meals in between with nutritional meal options. Write a grocery list before you shop so you can be sure your house is filled with what you need for healthy meals and snacks.
If you’d like more tips for staying healthy, our Dietitian appointments are filling up fast for the New Year so get in touch!