Cut the Christmas Kilos!
‘Tis the season to celebrate with good food, good wine and good company. However, end of year celebrations see Australians gaining an average of 0.8-1.5kg during the silly season, which can be both hard to shift once the New Year rolls in, and increases your risk of chronic disease development, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers. Christmas can also be a stressful time, with chronic stress being linked to inflammation and an altered gut microbiota, affecting our nutrient absorption and digestion. Follow our top tips for a healthy, stress free Christmas this year.
- Start your day right with a good mixture of protein and healthy fats for breakfast. Good options include a veggie omelette with avocado; muesli with nuts, seeds and coconut yoghurt; or poached eggs with smoked salmon, spinach, avocado and mushrooms
- Try a refreshing new cocktail (or opt for mocktails) such as sangria or mix spirits with low calorie mixers such as soda or tonic water and fruit Include healthy snacks and appetisers. Bruschetta, cheese and dips with vegetable crudités, caprese salad skewers or roasted nuts with spices are all healthy, delicious choices.
- Get your whole family involved in a game of cricket or tennis, or go for a walk around your area to see the Christmas lights Instead of catching up with a friend over a meal, go to an exercise class together – check your gym or fitness centre for their holiday opening hours
- Don’t discount playing with your kids and cleaning – these use up energy!
- Delegate tasks, especially if you’re hosting. Give each family member a responsibility, such as decorating certain areas of your house, or bringing an entrée or dessert to the event
- Preparation is key – meal prep in advance as much as possible and try to avoid meals that require hours of preparation
- Take some time out – meditate, read a book, or spend time with your loved ones in a relaxed environment
- Christmas is one day, not an entire month, so try to stick to your regular meal and exercise plans throughout the holiday season.
- Don’t overdo the treats and desserts on Christmas day, but remember to enjoy yourself and the people you are spending it with.
By Gina Horn - Dietician