Sometimes it feels like the festive season was created just to make you overeat, right? We know it’s hard to resist the mountains of delicious snacks, roasted meats and treats, but you really should.
Why? Increased calories mean increased fat and by now we know that this means extra stress on your heart, liver and gastric system. Just a couple indulgent meals can throw your body completely off balance and fast track some nasty consequences like heart disease or diabetes. Here’s some of our suggestions for resisting the food onslaught…
1. Don’t go hungry
Don’t deprive yourself of one meal in order to save calories for another. This will only make you feel more ravenous and cause you to overeat. Start with a fibre-rich breakfast, have plenty of salad and veggies throughout the day and, if you’re heading out to a social event, have some carrots or a handful of nuts before you go so you don’t arrive on an empty stomach.
2. Eat 80% vegetables
Fibre keeps you fuller and satiated for longer, so you won’t be as hungry and thus likely to snack on all those calorie-packed snacks and sweets throughout the day. Make sure every meal you eat is made up of 80% vegetables and fibre so that you avoid overeating.
3. Do some physical exercise every time you eat
After your meals go for a walk, play with your kids, do a 15-minute YouTube workout video, dance – anything to burn up some of the calories you’ve just eaten and to make room for a little extra, just in case!
4. Avoid the fatty snacks
Chips, pretzels and sausage rolls will never make you feel full, so rather save yourself for the mains. If you’re desperate for a snack, rather choose nuts, veggies or popcorn and stick to one handful.
5. Move around
If you’re at a party or braai, get up regularly and do some standing while you socialise. It’s easy to get comfy in those camp chairs, so force yourself to move!
What helps you maintain your weight or diet throughout the festive season?