Managing Temptations over the Festive Season

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Managing Temptations over the Festive Season

The average Australian gains between 0.8-1.5 Kg over the Christmas period.

One to two kilograms might not sound like much, but researchers have identified that weight gained over the holiday period is rarely lost.

So, what can you do to minimise this happening?

Keep Eating Healthy! Here’s how:

At the Christmas Parties

  • Don’t go to a party hungry! Eat some “free food” vegetables or salad before you arrive at a function to limit over indulging on high calorie party food when you are there.
  • Save your ‘snacks’ from the day and use the allowance when at a function. Choose nibbles that mimic Impromy snacks – a handful of raw natural nuts, vegie sticks with hummus, rice crackers, frittata. Avoid creamy dips, pies, sausage rolls, spinach triangles, chips, corn chips, lollies, candy canes, chocolates, cakes and slices with cream.
  • For ‘main meals’ choose foods that contain protein to help satisfy you and prevent you overeating later, especially after you’ve had a glass or two of alcohol.
  • Take your own plate of ‘Impromy Friendly’ snacks to a function, so you know you will have something you can eat and not have to be forced into making poor choices.

On Christmas Day

  • Eat breakfast, have your shake/s so you don’t arrive at the lunch table starving and ending up overeating as your brain tries in vain to catch up with your hungry tummy.
  • Keep the portion sizes small – swap to a smaller plate that way you will eat less.
  • Pile up the salad or vegetables on your plate. The more vegies you eat, the less room there is for other not-so-good choices.
  • On the day, plan an array of colourful salads and vegetables to avoid overloading on the roasties – it’s a chance to get creative and use herbs, nuts, and seeds to give each salad an interesting twist.
  • Eat slowly – this gives our brain a chance to keep up with our stomach and tell us when we are full.

Alcohol

  • Drinking alcohol may add to the enjoyment of your festive events, but can lead to weight gain. An average restaurant pour of wine or champagne at 150mL (around 1.5 standards) or 1 schooner of mid-strength beer are all around 500 kilojoules each – that is the equivalent of 1 Impromy snack, each time you have a tipple.
  • If you choose to drink, watch your serving size – stick to 1 standard drink (~120mL) of wine and champagne, choose light beers for a lower kilojoule intake and avoid the spirits unless you know you can commit to only having a 30mL nip with soda (not the other usual sugary additions).
  • Be careful with top-ups. Topping up your glass can lead to you losing count of the amount you have been drinking. Finish one glass before accepting a top-up.
  • Alternate your drinks. Alternate one alcoholic drink with one non-alcoholic drink such as water. Try a sparkling water in a wine glass with fresh strawberry, lemon and lime slices for something that looks and feels special, without the added calories.

Exercise

  • Get active on Christmas Day – why not play a game of cricket, beach volleyball or footy after lunch? This will burn off some kilojoules.
  • Now the kids are on holiday enjoy an afternoon in the park, go for a walk, play with your children – outdoor cricket, throw a Frisbee, go for a bike ride or swim.
  • Go for a walk if you are on holiday – this is a great way to explore a new area and burn some kilojoules.

In General

  • Aim to maintain your weight rather than actively trying to lose weight over the Christmas season.
  • Take responsibility for your actions rather than blaming the time of year – it’s celebration time and boundaries can go out of the window. Don’t forget you will have to deal with the consequences for months afterwards.
  • Say no when you need to or want to. It is easy – it just takes practice.
References: Foodsense. Consumer Reports on Health: Dodge holiday weight gain without missing the merriment. Dec 2002

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* See Griffith University Research report