During these past festive weeks, how much weight did you gain? One or two pounds?
According to Ursula Arens of the British Dietetic Association, on average people gain 5 lbs (2 kg) in the four-week Christmas period.
That’s about an additional 500 calories a day - the equivalent of a mince pie and a few extra glasses of wine!
Although the festive season is now largely over for most of us, it is still appropriate to provide some quick tips which can apply in 2012.
1. Pre Party Planning
Don’t Crash Diet!
Many believe that they should avoid the ‘damage’ of a big meal or party, by ‘saving up’ on calories and hardly eating at all during the preceding days.
This is a big mistake for several reasons.
First, when you go into a meal or party incredibly hungry, you are likely to overeat far more than you would otherwise....Worse still, is the temptation to overload on calorie dense, fatty/carb-laden food.
Secondly, think about what this does to your hormonal, insulin and sugar levels! This is especially dangerous when you have not eaten for a while.
The result is that many of the excess calories get stored as fat.
Instead, eat normally or even a little more, prior to the big parties. If you arrive feeling comfortably full with healthy nutrition, you will be less tempted by all those party ‘treats’.
- Make your own healthy dish, or several helpings (for others) and bring it to the party. That way if you can’t find anything healthy at the ‘do’ you can still enjoy your own cuisine!
- Increase your pure water intake to counter the possible side effects of excess alcohol, sugar and acid. Also, the more water you drink, the fuller you will feel.
- Take a couple tablespoons of vinegar before your big, especially carb heavy meals. Studies show how vinegar helps to reduce glucose and insulin spikes especially in insulin resistant folks and diabetics. It also increases satiety.
2. At the Party
Water Water Everywhere....
As soon as you arrive, drink a big glass of water or two and wait 15 minutes before eating anything. In fact drink as much pure water as you can during the ‘do’, especially between meals and beverages to keep yourself hydrated and feeling full.
Start with your own pre prepared meal....You did prepare it didn’t you?!
If, after that, you still have enough ‘wiggle room’, focus on the freshest and least processed foods, especially salads, veggies and proteins. Remember that the simpler the better: foods swimming in creamy dressings, sauces and condiments can be calorie and health bombs (despite how yummy they may look!)
Similarly, some ‘nibbles’, snacks and canapés can be so tantalisingly attractive that it’s easy to eat the equivalent of a whole meal just in snacks! Because they are usually full of excess salt, sugar and unhealthy fats, stick with just one hand full in total. Or avoid them!
If you can find lean proteins, like organic, grass fed meats, toxin free fish and free range eggs go for it. Protein is, by nature, very filling. It also helps your body process carbohydrates more effectively by stimulating the release of the hormone glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone which helps to control blood sugar and curb the fat-storage properties of insulin.
The challenge is how does one know about the protein source/quality without asking? Even then, unless you are among company who value healthy eating, the question may seem a bit ‘off’! Trust your instincts.
Best BeveragesFor many, alcohol, spirits and various beverages are key to celebrating and partying.
To enjoy your ‘tipple’, moderation and simplicity are key. Drinking spirits then alcohol followed by soda then by alcohol again over a concentrated period, will give you serious indigestion! (or even a fatty liver over time)
You may also be surprised how many often empty calories are hidden in various beverages.
Alternating each alcoholic drink with a glass of water is a good moderation trick. You can also add sugar free (and artificial sweetener free) fizzy water to white wine for spritzers that last longer with no extra calories.
Click Here for more on Healthy Beverage Guidelines
3. Post Party Recovery!
Pay back time...in one form or other!
This simple but effective 3-5 day ‘Recovery Regime’ works for me and others I have recommended it to.
It consists of short intense exercises, plentiful sleep, lots of pure water and fresh coconut water, and simple nutritious foods to give my digestive system a rest.
Hopefully these party tips will help keep the fat from settling on your hips!
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