The Christmas/New Year period is a notorious goal killer. Many people have good intentions, but then end up falling victim to high-calorie sugary drinks, fatty foods, and of course, alcohol. If you’re trying to get into shape, or just maintain your current body weight, learning how to make the right choices will go a long way in helping you survive the silly season relatively unscathed.
So, how do you avoid the common pitfalls that most people succumb to? We generally adopt the ‘it’s ok I’ll get back on track tomorrow’ attitude which can be a trap. It’s actually easier to stay on the horse and focused on your goals if you don’t fall off it in the first place, so don’t give yourself a reason to have to get back on track!
The secret to surviving the holiday season is really in knowing how to make the right choices when faced with an enticing array of food and drink.
1. SAY NO TO HIGH-FAT AND HIGH-CARB FOODS!
Always choose lean protein such as chicken breast and tenderloins over fatty cuts of meat such as lamb. Say no to bread and carb-heavy sides such as potato salad, and instead, load up on salad and veggies. Never ever go to a gathering HUNGRY! If possible, eat a small high-protein, high-fibre meal or protein smoothie beforehand so that you’re not as tempted to ‘let loose’!
2. SKIP DESSERT!
Dessert is also a potential killer. You can quite easily eat well over your required daily calorie intake with just a couple of trips to the buffet. Instead, enjoy some fruit, your hips will thank you in the morning!
3. CHOOSE YOUR DRINKS WISELY!
Who doesn’t like to let their hair down and enjoy a few drinks with friends and family? However, a few drinks can quite easily lead to a lot of drinks, which can then lead to a few extra trips to the buffet (and possibly a really bad rendition of an Ed Sheeran song)! Alcohol has the tendency to let our guard down, which in turn, can mean another slice of that lemon cheesecake that Aunty Doris makes once a year. Try to avoid beer, sweet wines, liquors and high-calorie mixers. Instead, opt for dry wines, spirits and low-calorie mixers such as vodka, soda and fresh lime. Yum!
You can still enjoy yourself and make the most of the holiday season, as long as you know how to exercise some self-control and self-discipline. This can often be the difference between feeling frustrated with your progress and edging closer towards your goals.