Can I survive the holidays without gaining weight?

Relaxing is vital for our health. Many people relax all aspects of their lives during the holidays including their eating resulting in terrible weight gain. This also usually leads to strict diet-focused New Year’s resolutions!

If you’d like to break the cycle this year, follow these 5 simple tips to survive the holidays without massive weight gain.
1. Make water your friend.
Alcohol, juices and sugary sodas all contain many kilojoules with little nutrients. Liquid kilojoules are not as satisfying as eating the same number of kojoules/energy from food. Drink water and save your kilojoules for food and limit liquid kilojoules to keep yourself satisfied and your energy intake low.

2. Eat in at least once a day.
Restaurants and take-aways serve much larger portions than most people need. Restaurant food is often prepared with more fat, sugar or salt than you would normally use at home. By eating in at least once a day, even when travelling you can make sure you eat appropriate portions of healthy food. If you don’t have cooking facilities, breakfast can be easily assembled without a kitchen.

3. Choose one less healthy item a day, not more.
Do not allow every meal and snack turn into a sugary feast. If choosing less healthy items, choose one item a day. This will encourage you to think about the day’s eating as a whole. You are also more likely to savour that one food if you know it’s the only one. Reducing the opportunities for unhealthy eating will reduce the total amount of extra energy consumed and help to maintain your weight.

4. Fill up on vegetables
Eating healthy and maintaining your weight does not mean going hungry. When dishing up for yourself, make sure you fill at least half of your plate with lightly prepared vegetables including salads. Keeping portions of vegetables big and portions of starchy and protein-rich foods small will help to fill you up without taking in too much energy. Be aware that adding a tablespoon of olive oil, while a healthy fat, can easily double the energy in the dish. Use a teaspoon to measure out dressings and limit the total amounts of nuts and seeds added to salads as these can also clock up the kilojoules easily.

5. Move
Exercise is vital for the maintenance of a healthy weight. Walks on the beach, swimming, playing with a ball and bat in the garden or simply going for a walk in the neighbourhood are excellent ways of moving while on holiday. Think outside of the gym for holiday exercise.

Holidays are a great time to model healthy behaviours such as regular physical activity and moderate healthy eating for your family. I hope these tips help you break the cycle of over indulgence followed by strict dieting!

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