Overindulgence is common as holiday drinks, work parties, end-of-year farewells and family get-togethers fill our year-end calendar. Added to that is the pressure of trying to get everything done in time, shopping with crowds, battling traffic and handling huge expectations from families.
This season is a major contributor to weight gain, with many people putting on an average 0.5kg by the end of December which is not reversed during the spring or summer months, according to “A Prospective Study of Holiday Weight Gain” by the National Institute of Health.
While no one can eat healthily 100% of the time, consider these five tips to help you stay on track:
1. Limit the pig-outs
Keep those wildly overindulgent days to three, maximum. A few days of overeating won’t be bad, but a full month of festive feeding will pile on the kilos. Excess weight is gained slowly, not just from one overindulgence. Just eat sparingly the next day.
2. Be selective
Survey the food spread, from starters and breads to mains and desserts, and decide what you must have and what you can leave. Don’t use a buffet as an excuse to eat excessively or to get “your money’s worth”.
3. Avoid too much alcohol
Big calories here. Dilute wine and spirits with ice and mineral water, order light beer instead of full-strength, and intersperse water between regular drinks.
4. Keep moving
Maintain your exercise routine to counter the food. Go for a brisk stroll during the day, walk the dog a little longer and try to get enough sleep.
5. Only one big meal a day
Unless you are an iron-man-in-training, it’s a sure way to pile on the weight. If you have to attend two functions, eat lightly, and skip the bread and dessert.