Archive for the ‘Christmas Season – Health & Fitness’ Category

Party On, Enjoy Yourself, and Stay Healthy With These Holiday Tips

December 10, 2017

There’s no need to skip those Christmas parties just because you’re trying to maintain your weight during the holidays. These 25 strategies will help you stay on track while celebrating with the best of them.

  1. Eat a small, healthy snack before you go to the party, so you’re not starving when you get there. An apple with almond butter or fruit with Greek yoghurt are great, healthy and filling options.
  2. Bring a healthy appetiser to the party, so you’ll know there’ll be at least one option you can load on your plate.
  3. Check out all the buffet options before you start filling your plate, so you know which appetisers are your must haves.
  4. When at the appetiser table, opt for lean proteins and fresh veggies first to fill you up before splurging on a less-healthy option.
  5. If the appetiser is fried, steer clear, or think of it as your treat.
  6. Use a small plate when picking appetiser options.
  7. Alternate each cocktail, glass of wine, or beer with a glass of water, so you slow down how many empty calories you’re imbibing all night.
  8. Use low-calorie mixers like soda water, not sugary juices, to mix with your cocktail.
  9. Make smart decisions the day leading up to a party, so you can relax a bit at night. Load up on healthy, filling foods that keep you full without making you go over your goals for the day.
  10. Walk away from the food table so you don’t graze.
  11. Move your workouts to the morning so you aren’t constantly skipping sessions when you have evening plans.
  12. Know your calorie counts in popular cocktails, so you can make smart decisions.
  13. Choose cut vegetables to dip rather than chips or bread. You’ll save hundreds of calories without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.
  14. Sip your drink slowly so you aren’t constantly refilling your glass with empty calories.
  15. Choose a brut (dry) Champagne over other alcoholic beverages. Brut Champagne usually contains only 65 calories per glass.
  16. Add a five-minute workout into your party prep routine. You’ll feel good knowing you raised your heart rate and sweat out a few calories before indulging.
  17. Think positive: before you go into a party, psych yourself up about the healthy choices you’re about to make.
  18. Dance! There’s nothing like burning calories while having fun.
  19. If there’s a dessert you’re dying to have, split it with a friend.
  20. Vow to have only a certain number of drinks before switching to water or cutting yourself off.
  21. Give yourself a curfew if you find that you can’t resist all the goodies the party offers.
  22. Know how to pour a glass of wine. Most people pour too much into a glass, meaning you may be consuming more calories than you are calculating. A serving of wine is 150-ml; you should be able to pour five glasses from one 750-ml bottle.
  23. Always pour wine with your glass on the table. You’ll be able to gauge how much is in your glass more accurately.
  24. Even if you’re enjoying passed appetisers and socializing while you eat, try to eat mindfully. Don’t go back to the buffet unless you are hungry.
  25. If you find yourself overindulging, don’t beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow’s another day to make smarter choices.


How to avoid drinking your calories this Christmas

November 27, 2016


Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be Christmas without staff parties, egg nog and brandy. After a busy year, Christmas is a time to unwind and indulge in a glass, or two (or 10).

But with more than 100 calories in a shot, drinks can add calories fast. Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Arlene Normand, shows us  how to make smart beverage choices this festive season.

In a new collaboration with Dietitians Association Australia, Eat Right provides expert nutrition and diet advice on a range of niche’ exercise and health condition topics.

Eat Right’s Top 6 Cheats to Avoid Drinking Your Calories This Christmas

1. Eat before you drink.

If you imbibe on an empty stomach, the alcohol will be absorbed into your blood stream more quickly. In other words, the liquor will go straight to your head. Drinking wine when you are hungry makes you more apt to pig out on fattening foods. Some good pre-party noshes: a small meal or snack containing fibre, protein and healthy fat such as chicken soup, low fat cheese on whole-wheat crackers, or a handful of nuts.

2. Do water chasers.

Alternate water and alcohol over the course of the evening. This will prevent you from guzzling your cocktail and also keep you hydrated. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect, so it is important to drink at least two glasses of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.

3. Nix the ‘nog.

With more than 200 calories in a 150g serving, which typically contains brandy, milk, sugar and raw egg. It is not a beverage, it is a dessert.

4. Dilute it.

Order cocktails like vodka and club soda, rum and diet coke, or gin and diet tonic that include a calorie free mixer. Or cut your wine serving in half and make up the difference with soda to create a refreshing wine spritzer.

5. Fake it.

Fool yourself – and your friends – by having a non alcoholic drink that looks like a stiff one. For example, order a sparkling water on the rocks with a twist of lime and swizzle stick.

6. Set your limit.

Resolve ahead of time that you will only have one or two drinks. After that, switch to water or a diet soft drink. Beware of waiters and party hosts, who keep filling your glass, that make it hard to keep track of how much you have had to drink.

And for more tips on how to avoid falling off the band wagon this Christmas check out our ultimate Christmas survival guide.

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21 tips to stay healthy over the festive season

December 6, 2015


1.  P-a-r-t-y wisely

You may have a stack of party invitations but you don’t need to attend them all. Too many of us wear busyness like a badge of honour, when really it just saps our energy. Choose the most important events to attend and only go to these.

2.  Sign-up for fitness

Maintain your fitness (and health) throughout December by registering for a fitness event in early 2015. This will motivate you to stay active during the party season.

3.  Succeed with salads

US nutritionist Barbara Rolls suggests filling up on low-kilojoule food such as salad to reduce the amount you eat when out.

4.  Exchange drinks for kilometres

Make a deal with yourself before you enjoy a drink with friends: for every alcoholic drink you consume, you must walk or run one kilometre the following day. A good incentive not to drink too much!

5.  Start eating last

Research shows eating out with seven or more people will see you eat 50% more than if you had eaten on your own. Solve this problem by being the slowest eater – be the last to start eating and the last to stop.

6.  Reflect and re-evaluate

The end of the year should be a time to reflect on your achievements throughout the year and to conduct a re-evaluation of your goals. This will give you a sense of self-fulfilment, self-worth and purpose, which are both important for a happy and healthy mind.

7.  Dance the night away

Put on those dancing shoes! Dancing for one hour burns approximately 1200kJ. Parties can be more than shovelling food and alcohol into your mouth – make it a fun aerobics session with your friends and kids.

8.  Be sensible with your weight

December is not the month to focus on weight loss. Focus instead on weight maintenance and you’ll enjoy the festive season without the guilt.

9.  Try the slow food revolution

The slow food revolution is about knowing your food – where it has come from and how it is grown. This festive season, head to your local farmers’ markets and stock up on fresh wholefoods.

10.  Active catch-up

Nobody said Christmas functions have to revolve around a buffet or a bar, so change your Christmas party to a day of round-robin tennis or even a game of lawn bowls. Get everyone to bring a healthy dish to share.

11.  Downsize the plates

Be like Goldilocks and eat off the smallest plate you can find. Research shows the larger the plate, the more food dished up and the more food eaten. If you’re at a buffet, be sure to keep an eye on the serving utensils, too – a larger serving spoon can see you dish up 15% more food that if you had used a smaller spoon.

12.  Wear tight clothes

Skinny jeans or other items of clothing that fit you snugly are a great device for avoiding overeating. It’s extremely uncomfortable trying to sit and move in tight clothes when your stomach is almost bursting out. Your waist circumference is also a great indicator of your risk of developing ill health or disease.

13.  Cut laps at the shopping centre

Christmas shopping cannot be avoided, so work with it. Throw on the joggers, and pace your way down your shopping list. Bonus points for parking in the furthest spot from the supermarket entrance – in fact, this should be your goal every time you shop.

14.  Get enough shut-eye

With all the partying, don’t forget the importance of sleep. Sleep is time for your body to rest and repair, and inadequate sleep can interfere with your internal body clock. Growing research shows a link between a lack of sleep and weight-gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and an increased risk of accidents. Aim for between 7–8 hours sleep each night.

15.  Use tall, skinny glasses

Reduce the amount of kilojoules you drink by choosing tall, skinny glasses. A study by Brian Wansink, a US professor in consumer behaviour and nutritional science, found that people pour 20–30% more alcohol into wide, short tumblers than tall slender glasses holding the same volume. Similar results have also been found when pouring breakfast juice.

16.  Use (wo)man power

Burn kilojoules in the kitchen by preparing your Christmas meals from scratch. Make your own mince tarts or cranberry sauce. Not only will you burn kilojoules while you cook, you’ll get a fantastic sense of accomplishment and will save money too. For extra fun, involve the whole family.

17.  Take some ‘me’ time

Remain sane throughout December by taking time out to relax and revive. Once a week, schedule in some alone time. You’ll feel much better for it.

18.  Eat your favourite Christmas foods

Enjoying your favourite Christmas foods is a must! Indulge in the mince tarts, tantalise your taste buds with the trifle and crunch through the crackle. Chocolates, lollies and chips are available all year round so don’t go crazy – limit yourself to 1–2 of your favourites, then leave the rest for someone else.

19.  Absorb the fat

If all the finger-food at the party is deep-fried or dripping in oil, grab a few napkins and dab the food dry. Removing some of the excess fat will remove some of the kilojoules, too. Need proof that this works? Have a good look at the napkin when you’re done – all that fat could be in your stomach instead.

20.  Be prepared

Go to the party with a plan. Your plan should include the number of drinks you wish to drink, an idea of the food you intend to eat, and the intention of enjoying the company more than the food. You don’t have to be obsessive, but some forward planning can help you manage your weight and control alcohol consumption.

21.  Don’t let one bad meal ruin your week

Don’t let one big meal or an over-indulgent party derail your health for the rest of the week (or year!). The key to maintaining good health is to get back on track from the very next meal. If you’ve had a massive lunch, have a salad or omelette for dinner. If you’ve had too much to drink, resist the fry-up for breakfast and get back on track with some wholegrain toast and fruit. One meal isn’t enough to make your clothes tighter, whereas a whole week of bad eating really can have an impact.

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