Be Social and Healthy during the Festive Season

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Can you be Social & Healthy at Christmas?

At this time of the year it seems an uphill battle to a healthy diet when there is so much temptation around. Christmas is a time of pure self-indulgence and most of us justify our actions by celebrating it to the max. After all Christmas comes but once a year, however, healthy eating shouldn’t, it should be a lifestyle change with occasional treats along the way when a special occasion arises.

Many women around the UK put in an extra effort to watch what they eat leading up to Christmas to get into that little black party dress so it seems a great shame to let it all go after the event just because you feel guilty about the binge eating and drinking over the festive season. After all, what are new year’s resolutions for anyway?

Accept that you may slide a little over Christmas and New Year but come 1st January you have the chance to get back on track and start a fresh for the New Year ahead. Don’t beat yourself up about the past and draw a line under it and move on.

During the festive season there will be many occasions from family gatherings to office parties which will divert your attention from “being good” to enjoying yourself. Eating out usually means that we have little control over how the food is prepared or how large the portion is. Also, foods eaten out tend to be higher in fat and research has shown that those who eat out regularly generally have higher intakes of fat, salt and calories.

Unfortunately, eating with friends can tempt us to overeat and drink. Meals with multiple courses eaten over longer periods and with alcohol are all associated with overindulgence. Endless canapé trays at the office party are also laden with foods containing high saturated fat.

As you have no point of nutritional reference with foods bought from cafes and restaurants there is no way of knowing exactly what is contained in that food and  opting for the healthiest option might not always be obvious, or easy. However, with some knowledge and thought, eating out can be enjoyable and healthy!

The Eight Steps to eating out healthily

  1. If you are going out to a drinks or cocktail party, eat something substantial and healthy before you go, this will reduce the chance of gorging on canapés or finger food at the party.
  2. Always ask the waitress if you do not know what is in the food being served. If they don’t know the chef certainly will.
  3. Don’t be polite when it comes to pudding. Opt for a hot mint tea to be sociable but not calorific. Or if on the menu a small fruit sorbet or fruit dish. Avoid dairy based desserts that contain fat.
  4. Think about sharing a course with a companion if the portions look large.
  5. Don’t be afraid to be high maintenance. Losing weight is high maintenance and by asking your waitress to hold the mayonnaise or put the dressing on the side is perfectly acceptable and an easy way to remove these fat laden additions from your healthy salad.
  6. Opt for dishes which are grilled, baked, steamed, poached or cooked in own juice rather than fried.
  7. Order sides of vegetables or green salad to fill up on rather than chips.
  8. If you are drinking alcohol, try opting for spritzers instead or alternating between sparkling water and wine. It will reduce your calorie intake, as let’s face it alcohol is “liquid sugar”. It will also reduce the effects of the hangover the next morning.

So there you have it, a quick eight step guide to surviving a healthy social season. In the meantime, have a wonderful festive season from all of us at the Life Practice and Life Practice Nutrition

If you think you would benefit from a Life Coaching or Nutritional Medicine consultation contact us on 01462 431112 for your free 20 minute consultation.

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