Many of us indulge more during the festive period and it can be hard to maintain a healthy balance. Here are some tips to help you care for your body this “silly season.”
Dining out, end of year parties, decadent meals, unhealthy snacking and celebratory drinks…the festive season can definitely take a toll on your waistline. However, eating healthily need not be a challenge, and simply swapping calorie-rich foods for lighter fare can save on calories and boost your nutritional intake. Here are some super food swaps that will allow you to eat well, without the excess calories:
- Enjoy a small portion of nuts, air popped popcorn or vegetable crudités and cottage cheese, avocado or hummus dip, instead of chips and dip.
- Select lean red meat, skinless chicken breast and kebabs instead of sausage and fatty meat cuts.
- Avoid deep fried and breaded foods, and replaced these with grilled or sautéed meals.
- Swap cakes, cookies ad sweets with fresh berries or mixed summer fruit served with plain yogurt.
Be Aware of Beverages
What you drink over the festive season can adversely affect your weight because we are often not aware of how sugar and calorie dense many beverages are. The best defense against sipping on the less stellar stuff is to ensure that you are well hydrated. People often mistake thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated is another smart strategy to avoid overeating or reaching for the wrong foods. Try swapping out sugar-filled fizzy drinks and fruit juices with sugar-free flavored water or ice water infused with fruit, ginger or mint. Homemade iced tea infused with fruit is another healthy alternative to cold drinks and juices. Swapping that cappuccino or latte with a regular coffee can also save a mountain of calories. Enjoying boozy beverages is another common practice around the festive season, but too much alcohol is bound to pack on the holiday pounds. Instead, try swapping cooler, cocktails, tonic water and beer with low calorie wine, wine spritzers, spirits and sugar-free mixers.
Get A Breakfast Boost
It is important to eat a healthy breakfast every morning – even during the crazy festive season. This is because eating breakfast is essential for sustained energy, optimal mental function and the maintenance of a healthy blood sugar level. A stable blood sugar level also helps you not to binge on the wrong foods or overeat later in the day. Opt for a balanced breakfast, containing the right mix of low-glycemic carbohydrates, protein and fats. Including a protein, like eggs in your breakfast will also help build and maintain lean body mass and reduce hunger.