4 tips for surviving (and enjoying) the festive season

Written by Lauren Campestre

Dietitian, Sprout Food Group

Posted: Dec 07 2023

The festive season is often a time marked by dinners, drinks, and festive celebrations, something most of us look forward to. Let’s explore four key tips to help you navigate the holiday season in a healthy, balanced way without the guilt.

1. Menu plan for balance

If you’re voted head chef for a special occasion, consider incorporating a variety of nutrient-rich options into your menu, especially veggies! Adding in something as simple as a garden salad or even some roasted veggies will give you and your guests the opportunity to balance your plates around the heavy meats and rich sauces.

2. Adopt a thoughtful approach to eating

How many times have you found yourself regretting that extra serve or getting home from an event feeling way too full? Overindulgence happens easily, but it doesn't have to! The key is a more thoughtful approach to eating. Opt for smaller portions to begin with, listen to your stomach's cues, eat slowly, and savour the delicious flavours. Feel comfortable knowing that you can have more food if you wish but you can also leave food on your plate if you’re feeling full. By tapping into some of these mindful behaviours, you’ll be able to eat all the foods you love and feel good afterwards.

3. Switch up your mindset

Feeling remorseful about your food choices is not healthy and it can often lead to further poor food choices due to low mood and self-esteem. A decadent meal followed by dessert doesn’t mean you’ve completely ruined your diet. It can be helpful during this period to consider how you might be able to “fill your cup” with healthy habits rather than emptying it. Try:

  • eating two pieces of fruit , and including a wide range of vegetables daily
  • ensuring you’re having protein with every main meal
  • being active.

These positive actions will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, while allowing you to indulge in life’s pleasures. It's all about balance during the festive season, not deprivation.

4. Balance the booze

The link between celebrations and alcohol is undeniable. While enjoying a drink is often part of the festivities, moderation is key. Challenge yourself to make mindful choices and consume less alcohol than you usually would during this time of year. Here are some simple ways to reduce your alcohol intake:

  • If you have several dinner parties lined up, try remaining alcohol-free on the days that you don’t have plans, and choose some plans to be alcohol-free
  • Consider alternating between alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages to reduce your overall consumption in one sitting. There are a wide range of non-alcoholic options on the market, including non-alcoholic spirits or wine, mocktails, soda water or soft drink.
  • Choose low-alcohol options to reduce the boozy punch of each drink you might have.
  • Purchase cans or small individual-serve bottles so you can keep track of how many standard drinks you are consuming.

As the festive season unfolds, consider incorporating one or more of these tips into your lifestyle. By doing so, you not only enjoy the festivities without guilt but also make the transition back to your normal routine smoother. Remember, it's not about depriving yourself but about finding a balance that allows you to savour the joys of the season while maintaining your well-being.

Wishing you a happy and healthy festive season!

Posted: Dec 07 2023

Disclaimer

The information contained here is of a general nature and does not take into account your personal medical situation. The information is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or used for therapeutic purposes. Should you require specific medical information, please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner. Health Partners does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided. While we have prepared the information carefully, we can’t guarantee that it is accurate, complete or up-to-date. And while we may mention goods or services provided by others, we aren’t specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them.

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