The festive season not only means time spent with our families but is also a time to indulge and relax. But for some, it is also the time to show off their summer bodies or try to reach the end goal as quickly as possible.
The summer body pressure can easily land many into the trap of going on fad diets hoping to lose weight quickly.
Approaching this season with a healthy mindset will allow you to enjoy your favourite foods, while keeping your health on track.
“Year-end brings with it an abundance of our favourite foods and many moments of indulgence. As such, it’s easy for those who are on their weight loss journeys to fall into temptation. On the other hand, for others, summer holidays, herald parties and the pressure of summer bodies can lead to crash diets that do more harm than good.
These moments are where we are most vulnerable to compromising our required daily nutritional requirements. Therefore, it’s important to portion control and indulge in moderation, to ensure that our weight loss journeys remain healthy pursuits”, says Lynne Mincher, Registered Dietitian, Marketing Manager, Nestlé Health Science | East & Southern Africa Region (ESAR).
Below are some tips to make sure you keep on track this festive season:
The ABCs of eating right
Eating healthy is not as complicated as many make it out to be, the key is getting the basics right. Always eat fruit and vegetables as they are packed with nutrients that will help keep you fuller for longer.
Load up on proteins such as legumes, nuts, seeds and fish as they help build and maintain bones, muscles, and skin. Dairy products are also a great source of protein; lower fat and unflavoured options are a better option.
It’s important to remember that not all carbs are bad; higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice, or potatoes with their skins on are good carbs. When preparing meals, try to go for alternative cooking methods whenever possible such as boiling, steaming, grilling, and baking instead of deep frying, to avoid unnecessary saturated fats.
Don’t skip meals, rather have a meal replacement
Skipping a meal or two might seem like a good idea, but this could do more harm than good. Whether you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle, having a regular consistent meal schedule is vital. What you eat will impact on your energy levels and consequently, going without a meal can lead to a drop in blood sugar level; leaving you feeling lethargic and even irritable.
If you skip meals, you’re also depriving your body of vital nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Meal replacements that contain the recommended daily requirements for vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fatty acids, and protein are a great way to ensure you don’t lose out on key nutrients. Such products are designed for one to interchange or switch up product combinations that suit their lifestyle.
Always keep it moving
Exercising may be the last thing you want to do during this time but make it a habit to continue with your regular physical activities even during festive season. A short, brisk walk, light strength training or some yoga, will not only boost your energy levels but can also help relieve some of that holiday stress. Do not wait until the new year to work off the festive eating as it will need more time and effort to lose the unwanted calories.
Eat light and healthy snacks
Instead of binge eating, rather nibble on light food such as salad, soup, and fruit to give your body nutrients without overloading it with calories. Consider snacking before eating heartier foods, so that you don’t overeat.