Surviving the Festive season

Posted by Maria Lennartz on Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas is a time for celebration and of course overindulgence in food and alcohol is very much a part of that. All the fun however can turn into grief as we cope with that awful hangover or those few extra kilos that are much easier to put on than get off.


The plan

There are two very important rules you can follow to survive the festive season:

1. Keep the real indulgent days to a minimum; say Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. A month-long feeding frenzy can take its toll on your waistline.


2. Don’t try to lose weight over Christmas. Parties and celebrations can make slimming near impossible; so don’t set yourself up for failure. Instead, keep your weight stable and get back into healthy eating after New Year.


Check out these tips and see which ones you might use


       Don’t starve yourself. Have regular healthy meals and NEVER go to a function Starving. If you skip meals you are more likely to fill up on high fat snacks.

       If you have a tendency to over eat work out how many savories you’re going to limit yourself to and stick to it. Pick up one savory at a time and walk away

       Deep fried, crumbed and battered foods as well as cheese platters and nuts are high in fat. Choose fruit vegetables or bread based snacks.

       If you host a party offer your guests some low fat snacks as well. Pretzels, rice crackers, veggie sticks,

        If you take a plate make sure yours is healthy

       Listen to your body and stop eating when you are full

       Chat and mingle…if you are bored you are more likely to snack. A good conversation can distract you from food.

       Don’t arrive hungry. Have a small healthy snack before you go to parties to reduce the chance you’ll overeat when you get there.


       Don’t stockpile your plate with treats you may not need, but are likely to eat. Take one or two items and come back for more if you genuinely need to.

       Adopt a pastry-free policy. By simply avoiding one of the most calorie laden party foods, you’ll be ahead.

       Go dancing after dinner to burn up some or all the excess energy.

Avoiding overeating


By ignoring your body’s normal fullness signals and overeating, it’s possible to consume twice as many calories as on a usual day. Family get-togethers that become a constant feast from dawn to dusk, and beyond can be the most fattening days of the year.

  1. If you are the food provider, plan your menus. Only buy and prepare as much food as you need. Inform family the week before they arrive that there is no need to bring food. You have this covered.

  2. Let people know you don’t want food as gifts, especially chocolates, lollies or nuts.

  3. Don’t finish your plate. You may think leaving food on your plate is a waste, but it is a far better option than the calories ending up on your waist.

  4. Keep between-meal snacks on small plates, and put away packets or jars of nuts and lollies so they are out of sight.

  5. Place leftovers in the freezer immediately after serving, to make them harder to get hold of. _ Better still; give leftovers to guests when they leave. You have to put yourself first.




ü  Use small wine glasses. A standard glass of wine is 100 millilitres, not 300 mls as some glasses can hold.

ü  Only fill your own glass when it’s empty, otherwise you can lose count of top-ups from others.

ü  Choose low-cal drinks such as diet soft drinks, mineral water or plain chilled water.

ü  Limit alcohol to particular times; say after 6pm as general rule.

ü  Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Make your first drink a large glass of water.

ü  Dilute wine with plain mineral water.

ü  Before you go out, set the maximum number of drinks you will have.

ü  Remember, you don’t have to finish the bottle! 

Keep moving

If your diet takes a vacation at Christmas, try to keep your exercise routine on track. An after-meal walk or backyard game will help digest your food and counteract the calories.