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How you can still enjoy the silly season without a seasonal blowout

by Alasdair McClintock on Monday 4 December 2017

 

End of year holidays are closing in and for most of us, this means rich food, far too much to drink and a waistline hangover that makes it onto our new year’s resolution list. 

Letting your hair down over the silly season isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it’s been a long year, you deserve some downtime – but this year why not do things a little differently, so that your pre-holiday pants aren’t chaffing on your back-to-work commute.  

Here are a few little tricks that can help you avoid that seasonal blowout. 

Stay active: 

The easiest thing to do to keep your mind and body in shape is to keep moving. Family time doesn’t have to be limited to sitting around over a cheese platter and a couple of drinks. 

Set up a game of backyard cricket with your siblings, go for a walk with your folks, or try some fun activities like surfing, kayaking or beach volleyball to get your blood flowing. 



Self-control:

The festive season is no time to deny yourself anything, but before grabbing that second serving of ham and potatoes, ask yourself, do you really want it?

If the answer is hell yes, wait ten minutes and see if you still do. Chances are you won’t. This will not only benefit your waistline, but you might just avoid that post-lunch food coma too.  

Create a reward system: 

Yes, yes, you’ve worked hard all year and deserve to be rewarded for it, but before you eat that custard soaked Christmas pudding, why not tell yourself that you can have it after twenty minutes of exercise? Or, better yet, why not say one hour of exercise gives you a free pass for the rest of the day? It’s easy to monitor, will keep you active and allows guilt-free indulgence.

Learn how to say “no”:

Do you really need to go to that friend’s Christmas drinks that you haven’t spoken to since last Christmas? If you do, be the designated driver. Most of the calories many of us consume this Christmas won’t be from food, they will be from the endless drinks at work Christmas parties, catching up with friends and then the big day itself. Cutting out just a few of these drinks will do a world of good for your waistline, liver and even your mental wellbeing. 



Brunch not lunch:

Back in town and eager to catch up with all your old besties? Seeing old friends is one of the best parts of going home for the holidays. Try catching up in the morning instead of the afternoon or evening. You’re far more likely to resist the urge to hit the cocktails at 10am (hopefully). A good breakfast might leave you less inclined to chow down at lunchtime too. 

Mindful eating:

Slow down and enjoy what you’re eating. Mindful eating encourages you to be in the moment and really be aware of your food and your surroundings. At the best time of year, doesn’t it make sense to slow down and take it all in? Someone probably slaved for hours over that honey glazed ham/garlic prawns/turkey that you are mindlessly inhaling.

Chew. Savour. Compliment the chef.

Happy holidays!


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