Surviving the festive season
The festive season is a time usually spent with family and friends or out enjoying a well-deserved holiday. It’s when overeating, overdrinking and overindulging is all too common, yet it’s also when most of us have a bit more time to spend on ourselves. Therefore, in terms of health, this holiday period could be either when your health kick starts or comes to a very abrupt halt.
Enjoying life is an extremely important part of your overall health and wellbeing, so the last thing this article is intended to be is a killjoy. There are however some basic things that are worth thinking about, so that you get more out of the season.
Tips for enjoying a healthy & safe festive season:
Beware of the over indulgence
It’s not always the big meal; it’s often the combination of the pre-meal snacks, drinks, desserts & countless leftovers that fill the plate for days to come. Here are some simple suggests on how you can get through the holidays without blowing out your waistline:
- • Go easy on the nuts, chips, chocolates, cheese & dip, etc. Make them a very occasional snack only – don’t eat them just because they’re there.
- • Bake veggies with a sprinkle of olive oil, rather than frying in loads of lard and oil
- • Remove the skin from chicken & turkey & pile your plate with colourful vegetables
- • Share the thousands of left overs around with family & friends
- • Slow down & eat at a more relaxed pace
- • Say no occasionally
- • Avoid buying chocolates, lollies, etc. as presents for other people
- • Try and adapt old recipes like pavlova or cheesecake into healthier versions
Be sun smart
Australian's love the sun & the great outdoors, but the UV is high! It’s important to take some basic precautions & keep covered up with a shirt, hat, sunglasses & sunscreen.
Many people drink as much alcohol over the festive season as they do the rest of the year combined. Avoid binge drinking and maintain hydration through plenty of water intake - particularly on hot days. Alcohol will impair your decision-making and your body’s ability to deal with the excess food you’re likely consuming as well. If you are going to drink alcohol, there are some simple steps that you can take to lower your risks:
- • Set yourself limits & stick to them
- • Water is your friend - alternate a glass between drinks
- • Drink slowly - enjoy the conversations & the festive occasion
- • Try drinks with a lower alcohol percentage
- • Have something to eat before or while you are drinking
It’s a simple tip that can make a huge difference to your holiday season and your overall health. Try to maintain 33ml per kilo of your body weight - and even more if it’s hot or you’re active. Drinking water regularly will also help you avoid over eating.
Try healthy snack alternatives
Don’t let tradition or lack of imagination be the cause of your extra Christmas calories. Mix in some seasonal fruit & veggies, natural nuts, or some homemade healthy muffins & slices, instead of highly processes snacks laden with saturated fat, salt & sugar.
Get outdoors & stay active
Whether it’s a backyard cricket rivalry, a walk along the beach, a bike ride, or a swim in the pool or ocean, keeping your body moving and active will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle balance over the festive season and start the new year feeling refreshed.
Wishing you a happy, healthy & safe Christmas & New Year – Let's make next year an even better one!
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