brought to you by Michele Chevalley Hedge, Mother of 3 and Ambassador to both Jamie Oliver and Mum Central
CHRISTMASITIS (noun): The inflammation, bloating and self-sabotaging that often begins on December 1st of a year and ends just after Australia Day at the end of the next year’s January.
Many people will gain one to two kilos over the holidays. The combination of summer and the festive season can catapult many of us into an eating and drinking frenzy. Christmas parties, end-of-the-year parties, welcome-to-summer parties, New Year’s Eve parties and a host of other celebrations can bring out the Sugar Monster in the healthiest of us.
You don’t have to be a Scrooge and not enjoy the celebrations, but consider some ways to keep yourself from feeling miserable about how you indulged once the fun dies down. The following tips will make it easier to face the new year with a fresh attitude and help you not get too stuck wallowing over holiday weight gain.
1. Don't go to a party hungry
Going anywhere hungry [apart from out to dinner!] is always going to be a problem. Eating before you go to an event is an easy way to avoid extra, unwanted calories and sugar. Plus, you’ll have more time to socialise instead of wondering where the food is and when the next tray is coming out! Simply having a piece of hunger-sustaining cheese or a protein shake before heading out will help you resist the temptation to make unhealthy food choices.
2. Try to have a glass of water between alcohol
Alcohol will add to weight gain, slow down your liver function and may dehydrate your skin but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some festive bubbles or delicious sangria with your friends! Consume and enjoy but be moderate. Have a hydrating glass of sparkling mineral water between each alcoholic drink and in the morning you’ll be happy you did.
3. Get over it!
If you do indulge in one too many wines or party pies, don’t carry on with guilt and self-abuse the following day. Get up, exercise and commit your new day to low-sugar, whole and fresh foods. People who beat themselves up mentally often begin the following day by skipping breakfast. By midday or the afternoon, they then become so hungry that they roller-coaster off into indulging in convenient junk food. So, enjoy the Christmas pudding and then get over it and start a new day.
4. Burn it!
Celebrations and holidays are meant to be enjoyed and you will
almost definitely most likely over-indulge at some point. Commit to a regular exercise plan to keep your metabolism fired up, your endorphins stimulated and your mind off your next meal!
FUN FACT: One hour of walking can burn about 22 teaspoons of sugar!
So factor your exercise into your day just like you would plan a meeting in your diary. And remember, it’s not a luxury – it’s a necessity for firing up your metabolism.
5. Be Sugar Savvy
It is not what you sprinkle over your food that gives us ‘love handles’ and ‘muffin tops’, it is what’s hidden in your diet. Everything from soups, sauces, potato chips and even bacon may contain added sugars. One teaspoon equals 4 grams of sugar.
Check out the following festive foods… It may surprise you to see how much hidden sugar they have:
- 250 glass of wine or champagne= 2-4 tsp
- 275 ml bottle alcoholic drink ( alcopops) =5 tsp
- 1 slice of Christmas Pavlova 1/12 slice=13 tsp
- 1 fruit mince pie 40 g = 3 tsp
- 125 g vanilla custard= 8 tsp
- 1 small chocolate santa 20 g= 3 tsp
The amount of sugar and type of sugar varies based upon manufacturer. Based on information from CalorieKing Australia.
6. Think about your choice
Think about your choice. Tasty treats are abundant at holiday parties. Look for nibbles and foods that are high protein and low in sugar.
|Enjoy This||Instead of This|
|Mint & Lime with Vodka and soda water||Alcopop|
|Prawn Skewer||Deep fried prawns or chicken|
|Roasted spicy almonds||Oiled, salted peanuts|
|Smoked salmon on cracker||Mini meat pie|
|Sausage without the bun||Sausage on white bun with sweet sauce|
|Crustless quiche||Anything with heavy pastry|
|Dark Chocolate||Milk Christmas Coins|
|Warm Christmas Pudding||Christmas Pudding without custard|
If you are enjoying our nutrition posts then download your FREE Low Sugar Lunchboxes eBook here and stay nourished!
If you’re ready for a healthy change, a non-extreme approach to reducing sugar then join us for our February Low Sugar Kids Program, a 28-day qualified nutrition and kid approved program with a rock solid Money Back Guarantee.
Michele Chevalley Hedge, nutritionist, mum, Jamie Oliver Ambassador and founder of A Healthy View.